3 Ways Workplace Culture Can Hinder Growth

3 Ways Workplace Culture Can Hinder Growth
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Culture and Growth
We know from our organizational alignment research that workplace culture — how work gets done — accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing companies. And recent research by Deloitte reports that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a clear company culture is vital to a business’ success. Workplace culture can hinder growth or support it.

We could not agree more.  There is no doubt that culture, once considered “soft,” has a hard effect on the bottom line. How people think, behave, and work matters.

3 Ways Your Culture Can Hinder Growth

  1. Your Culture Is Not Healthy Enough to Support High Growth
    At its foundation, we define organizational health in terms of leadership, trust, capability, and climate.  Just as your own good health allows you to perform at your best, organizational health is the foundation for growth and higher performance.  Conversely, an unhealthy workplace culture creates toxicity that undermines employee engagement, retention, and performance. 

    Is your culture healthy enough to support the pressures that come with high growth?
  2. Your Culture Tolerates Too Much Substandard Performance
    High performing cultures expect and get the most out of their people in a way that makes sense in both the short- and long-term.  How performance is defined, measured, tracked, communicated, reinforced, rewarded, and corrected is at the heart of a high performance environment.

    Low performing cultures allow underperformers to hide and stay on too long.  This drags down those looking to grow and perform at their peak.  If people are not meeting clear expectations, there should be consequences. Similarly, if employees are exceeding expectations, they should be fully appreciated for their efforts.

    Is your performance management philosophy set up to support high growth and the necessary mindset shifts and competencies to rapidly scale?
  3. Your Culture Is Not Aligned Enough with Your Growth Strategy
    For your strategy to be successfully implemented, it must go through your people and your culture.  So, the more aligned your culture is with your growth strategy, the better the chances for success.  We measure ten dimensions of culture to assess strategic alignment.

    Conversely, a misaligned workplace culture means that “how and why things are done” is not attuned with “what needs to gets done” from a strategy perspective.   Any misalignment between strategy and culture makes it hard for individuals and teams to become interdependent and act with a more unified and harmonious mindset.

    For example, if your growth strategy calls for greater cross- and up-selling of larger and more complex solutions to existing clients through greater levels of customer intimacy, but the way work gets done favors point-in-time transactions, your culture will dilute your growth plans.

    Is the way people think, behave, and act highly attuned with your growth plans?

The Bottom Line
Creating a clear, believable, and implementable plan for growth is the first step.  Your second step is to assess your organizational culture so that you can shape and align it to purposefully help, not hinder, your strategic priorities.  Have you identified and addressed the ways your workplace culture can hinder growth?

To learn more about how to align your culture with your strategy, download How to Build a Purposeful and Aligned Corporate Culture.

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