There is no one-size-fits-all model for creating a positive company culture. Every organization must find its own way of promoting positive attitudes, values, and goals within its workforce. Whatever your business model may be, the happiness of your employees links directly to the happiness of your customers, and that in turn links to profitability. There are a lot of different ways to promote positive organizational culture change within your business, but to find the right path for your employees, there are three key things that you’ll need to do.
- Create a compelling vision that your employees understand and appreciate.
To many hard-boiled business owners, the idea of “vision” sounds a bit wishy-washy, but in truth, having a solid vision is a tried-and-true way of creating a sense of camaraderie and professional pride amongst employees at every level. Forbes recently wrote an article about how the Ritz-Carlton uses its vision to promote positive culture and stay on top of the hotel business. Their motto is “Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” It’s a simple idea, but by taking it to heart across the organization, Ritz-Carlton has created a culture in which their employees feel as valued and appreciated as the customers that they serve.
- Ask for input.
The worst mistake that an organization can make when trying to create culture change is implementing a strategy without consulting employees. KPMG recently spent two years examining their own company culture by surveying their 184,000 employees across 52 different countries. But before they got started, the person in charge of the survey, Susan Ferrier, told the executives in charge that she wouldn’t do the study at all unless they assured her they would listen to the results.
It may be that after asking your employees for their input they come back to you with unreasonable requests, but even if you can’t provide them with exactly what they’re hoping for, hearing their concerns and wishes will help you better manage your organizational culture and change. By acknowledging their requests and explaining why such a change can’t happen, you can validate the feelings of your employees, and hopefully find a middle ground that will improve company culture in a reasonable and effective manner.
- Create a set of shared values.
Companies in which employees are happiest are companies where the values are clearly set forth and applied to everyone. Your company’s values have to extend beyond employee to customer relationships and even beyond employee to employee relationships. Your values must also be reflected in management to employee relationships.
The Denver Post recently shared a number of ways in which several major companies express their values. For example, at The Container Store employees start their day with a team huddle. At Physician Health Partners, employee reviews are based around the seven core values of the company, one of which is “joyfulness.” And at Datalogix Inc. employees receive un-capped vacation time and work in an environment full of perks for jobs well done.
Again, every company is different. It may be that your young and active workforce would enjoy stipends for physical fitness, or perhaps the long workdays at your company might be brightened by catered lunches. Whatever it is that your business focuses on, make sure that your values are known throughout your company, but more importantly, make sure that they are put into practice.
Learn more about how to promote positive culture change in your business by contacting level up leadership today.