How To Create the Right Corporate Culture

How To Create the Right Corporate Culture
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Do You Have the Right Corporate Culture?

Thanks to the success of Netflix and the failure of Volkswagen, more and more companies are beginning to understand how important the right corporate culture can be to creating a high performance culture at work.  So much so that almost two-thirds of the World’s Most Admired Company executives attribute 30 percent or more of their organizations’ market value to their corporate culture while one-third of executives attribute 50% or more of their organizations’ market value to their corporate culture.

Corporate Culture Defined
We define corporate culture as how things are truly accomplished in an organization — the behavioral norms and corporate values that are lived and observed each and every day to get work done. Culture is one of the three critical legs of corporate success. When a company’s culture is aligned with their talent and their business strategy, the organization is heading in the right direction to succeed in the future.

Organizational Alignment Research
Our organizational alignment research shows that the alignment of the right corporate culture and talent with strategy helps companies grow 58% faster and be 72% more profitable while increasing employee engagement 18-to-1.

Seven Questions to Test If You Have the Right Corporate Culture
While there is no one “right culture” for every organization, one quick way to measure the strength of your corporate culture is to ask seven questions to see if you have the right corporate culture for your people and business strategies:

If your answer to any of these questions raises concerns, you had better address them.

5 Ways High Performing Companies Create the Right Corporate Culture
Based upon data from assessing organizational cultures across the world, here are four ways that our high performance clients have worked to strengthen their corporate culture to be “the right corporate culture” for their business and people strategies and, ultimately, their business performance:

  1. Actively Involve Employees in Business Planning and Direction Setting
    We believe that the more actively involved employees are in where the company is headed and in making the decisions that directly affect them, the more they buy into the company’s future. And as they feel more ownership, they are more fully engaged in their day-to-day work.  Empowering employees encourages them to stay and to contribute beyond what is simply required to get the job done.

    You will know you are headed in the right direction when employees clearly understand the company’s plans for future success, believe the organization will be successful in the future, and understand how their job helps the organization achieve success.

    Do you need to increase employee involvement?

  2. Align The Way Works Gets Done with The Culture You Want to Create
    Cultural and team norms are effective when leaders not only communicate the importance of culture and behave in a way that is aligned with that culture but when they operationalize the desired culture through key business practices.

    A workplace culture comes to to life when critical hiring, organizational structures, promotions, processes, communications, systems, decisions, trainings, meetings, performance management systems are intentionally and visibly aligned towards the same outcomes.

    Do you need to tweak the way work gets done to better align your culture with your strategy?

  3. Consistently and Visibly Invest in People
    By assessing their current talent and knowing what they will need in the future, high performing companies help employees build an individual development plan and provide learning opportunities for a career path that makes sense for both the individual worker and the organization’s future.

    The investment in employee capabilities helps retain top talent, gives firms a competitive edge, and highlights the stated value of continuous learning and development.  You will know you are on the right path when employees believe they have been properly trained to do their job, are effectively cross-trained to do other jobs, and have consistent opportunities to learn new skills that will help them and their team succeed.Do you need to better invest in the success of your people?

  4. Build Strong and High Performing Teams
    Believing that strong teams are the backbone of successful organizations, high performing companies make sure their managers understand and practice what it takes to create collaboration and respect among team members. They teach managers how to be effective coaches, hold team members accountable, build team charters, and encourage desired team behaviors.

    In short, managers became the instruments of raising performance levels across the board. You will know you are on the right path when people consistently go the extra mile to achieve great results, goals and accountabilities are clear to everyone on the team, individual strengths are leveraged often, and people are committed to producing top quality work.

    Are your teams set up for success?

  5. Consistently Recognize Employee Contributions and Hold People Accountable
    Effective people leaders know high performers should get a disproportionate amount of the rewards and that under-performers need to improve quickly or move on. They define rewards and recognition linked directly to fair and transparent success metrics.

    If you have the right amount of psychological team safety and a strong culture of accountability, explicitly valuing employees contributions motivates people to stay and perform just as clear consequences associated with sub-standard performance motivates people to improve to avoid failure.

    You will know you are on the right path when people believe that your organization makes investments to make them more successful, the leaders value people as their most important resource, and the organization is committed to making it a great place to work.

    Are incentives and consequences aligned with the behaviors and outcomes that you seek?

The Bottom Line
Be deliberate about creating the right corporate culture for your unique situation that aligns with your talent and business strategies. You will reap the rewards well into the future.

To learn more about how to create the right corporate culture, download The 3 Must-Have Levels of a High Performance Culture to Align Your People to Your Business

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