Take the Lead on Your Company’s Positive Culture Shift

Are you unhappy with the culture of your company? Don’t look to ‘jump ship’ when the culture isn’t meeting your expectations. Be a part of the change by capitalizing on the roles played by team influencers and managers. A company printing its mission statement or core values on the wall is not enough to improve team comradery or employee morale. A genuinely supportive and winning culture is built upon trust and communication between all employees, whether in a leadership position leadership or not.

Here are three steps you can take to initiate change in your company’s culture towards increased employee engagement, retention, and candidate appeal.

Map Out What A Positive Work Culture Looks Like To You

What does a healthy and uplifting work culture look like to you? Do you want to see more diversity and inclusion across your team? Do you aspire to have more employees’ impact heard or seen? Organizational culture is not something you can fully control, but there are specific steps you can take to inch closer to the work environment you desire.

A common mistake leading to incohesive work culture is when management adds a new element to the organizational map that does not tie into the existing culture. Define the set of desired values and behaviors that you want to be aligned with your strategy and brand. What are the pillars that you want to make up your company’s culture? Some key examples include increased intentional communication such as C-suite office hours, company-wide events (abiding by your Covid-19 restrictions), performance recognition, or employee training and growth opportunities that push people out of their comfort zones. When you reinforce positive behaviors, you establish a foundation for employees to feel comfortable speaking their minds.

If you are not in a position of leadership, speak your mind to someone who is. Share the aspects of the presently set work culture you want to retain and the aspects you hope to abandon. As you walk through this process, be sure to get others involved who want their opinions voiced as well. Measure and demonstrate the effectiveness of the current culture and desired changes through employee surveys and behavioral analysis. After all, open communication is the part of the precedent you are likely hoping to becomes an everyday occurrence.

Lead By Example

It’s easy to forget the values your organization has set in place as you walk through your day-to-day assignments, but you can never let that be an excuse. The easiest way to gain respect from your co-workers is through accountability, professionalism, and hard work. When you step up, you are encouraging others to do the same. Whether you are in a leadership position or not, any employee with a position of responsibility can set a precedent for overall employee performance. If you have expectations for others that you cannot meet yourself, your intentions and leadership will emerge as dishonest. 

Is your organization successfully molding new leaders or merely providing direction without opportunity for growth? Consider how your brand and business culture tie into your recruitment marketing strategy. Reinforcing an elite reputation of a lively, encouraging, and team-oriented work culture full of open communication can unlock your vacant job listings to the top-performing job candidates you seek. 

According to a recent Glassdoor study, 77% of adults would examine a company’s culture before joining, and 56% say company culture is more critical to their job satisfaction than salary.

Remember, Change Doesn’t Occur Overnight

A change in behavior doesn’t happen overnight, and neither will your culture shift. It requires long-term intentionality, practice, and accountability from the whole team, built on the shoulders of your leaders. Depending on the gap between where your culture is today and where you want it to be, your timetable could be months or even years. One specific step you can take is to establish a ‘culture committee’ to represent the voices of all employees that meet monthly to reflect on various concerns and company highlights. Failure to install this platform for feedback can result in resorting back to previous patterns.

Stop waiting for the timing to be right or for the right people or resources to arrive. If you are ready for change, now is the time to get started. Be the difference.

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