Organizations lacking in a cohesive, positive culture suffer in many ways: poor productivity, higher turnover, lack of customer and employee trust, and revenue to name a few. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t notice that there isn’t an ideal culture until it becomes glaring that the system is broken and their ship is sinking. And while we laid out a few of the key components involved in Building a Culture to Support Your Business, building on those steps is how you align your current direction with the culture you want.
After examining the role culture plays in your organization and finding it lacking, what should you do next? Acting on what you’ve learned will eventually allow you to reach the goals you set. Aligning your business with the ideals you want will create the culture you want. Sounds simple, right? But remaining inattentive to the issues most critical to developing a robust culture won’t get you very far towards your ultimate objective. So let’s look at what you can do today to turn this ship around and optimize your organization.
Consider that the culture of your business is the “how”: how your business is managed (including people, products, services, inventory, and even consumer perception); how company values are carried out (through management tasks and establishing equitable rules and consequences); and maintaining the company’s redesigned character (follow-through, monitoring, consistency). An audit will reveal your company’s performance and that of whomever is its captain. This assessment will provide the outline for the next steps. Don’t just list the problems, though; figure out how to solve them.
Become a Problem-Solver
Establishing resolutions to issues you’ve noticed after performing an audit (or concerns that have been pointed out to you) is the easiest way to get your company culture on the right track. If there were problems with the way management handled employees by allowing some workers to get away with unethical behavior, for example, or they were setting unrealistic goals that would not allow work to be accomplished accurately and safely, then establishing consequences standard for all and production timelines consistent with realistic expectations are two relatively simple ways to establish trust, which is integral to a positive culture.
Creating prescriptive methods that align with your ideal culture to address issues underscores your position as an ethical company cognizant of its responsibilities to everyone: from the owner to the board to the employees through to the customer and even the community and environment. Be a problem-solver to determine which newly established procedures may need additional adjusting in order to build a healthy culture. If you’re performing regular audits of the guidelines you’ve put into place, those assessments will reveal how well (or poorly) your culture is performing. Addressing any issues as they arise will become easier and less time consuming as time goes on and the culture is well established because everyone will understand and subscribe to the culture.
The Bottom Line
You don’t only want to fulfill orders, you also want to fulfill your company’s purpose. This kind of behavior establishes your company as one with whom others want to do business while also enhancing your brand. You’ll be sought after by the finest talent who want to work for you and your products and services will be in demand. The long-term sustainability and viability of the organization is dependent on the attention paid to all facets of that organization. Attending to and resolving something as important as an unhealthy culture will lead to success at every level. Not taking corrective action means that ship you’re trying to steer will be abandoned and no one will want the cargo. Even a frustrated captain may jump overboard if you’re not vigilant.
The bottom line will be affected whether you examine your company culture and adjust your sails accordingly or not. Let’s see what we can do to keep your ship afloat and sailing on calm waters.