Organisational or company culture can be defined as the way in which an organisation expresses itself, both internally and externally. The culture of an organisation is based on its values, namely, the principles and ethos on which the company focuses.
An important determinant of organisational culture is the company’s leadership. Once this is in place, all aspects of a company play a role in determining the culture within the company. There cannot be a company without culture; it develops on its own, depending on the people and the type of work that is done.
Culture, within any company, develops and flourishes (or fails) due to the actions of its leaders; it should never be relegated to ‘a few poster boys’ within the company. After all, employees cannot be expected to take their own company’s culture seriously when their own leaders don’t.
As a business coach who helps develop quality organisational culture, I believe the following characteristics contribute to this quality.
Consistency is a critical ingredient needed to develop a quality culture within your business. Communicating mixed messages can destroy any chance of the desired culture taking hold. If employees notice that you, or other leaders, advocate one direction but then see you doing the opposite, it is likely they will either create their own culture or follow the one you ‘wrongly’ espouse. Either path has an unsatisfactory outcome. You need to support your words with your actions, make sure you stick firm to what you say and let your message be consistent throughout all levels of the company.
Make Sure It’s Useful
The company culture that you develop should eventually lead to something greater; such as the achievement of your company’s long-term goals. If the organisational culture doesn’t yield any tangible results and just focuses on, as an example, micro-management and manipulation, it won’t take long for employees to figure that out.
Ensure a) you understand the current culture, b) then decide where you want to go, c) know what the culture you are aiming for ‘looks like’ and d) then support the transformation.
Respect Is Critical
The probability of conflict arising in an organisation at one point or another is very high. Ideally, you should plan for the fact that discord will arise at some time in the future. When the conflict occurs, you should not disrespect the opinion of an employee(s). This is the time to practice great listening skills. While you may be in a leadership position, it would be foolish to disregard your employees’ opinions or views. Instead, maintain a respectful position and explain your decision-making process or viewpoint. Be amicable, don’t resort to anger and don’t admonish; the objective is for you both (or many) to reach an amicable understanding without losing respect for one another.
Related Article – How to Improve Your Employees’ Working Environment. Read more…
Over the past 30 years, Evan has founded four ‘start-ups’, built them into successful businesses and gone on to sell them. He has experienced and overcome most of the
common challenges faced by business owners and leaders and understands the pressure and stresses that running a business can cause and how important it is to manage this effectively.
He also recognises the value and importance of getting sound advice and support when faced by these common challenges and of being prepared to openly discuss issues with a coach or mentor.
Since building up his last business into a national company, and selling it in 2009, Evan has focused on coaching the leaders of small and medium-sized businesses in how to manage and overcome the many challenges that they face. He has a Master of Business Coaching degree from Wollongong University; creating a unique blend of experience, expertise and coaching best practice for his clients.
Click here to find out more about Evan.