“What is the most important thing I can do to develop a strong organisational culture?”
This is a question we’ve gotten from many of our clients. The truth is that organisational culture can be multi-dimensional, and there are many things that can affect how the people in your company behave.
If you find that your company’s organisational culture is lacking, you have come to the right place. We’ve listed some tips and tricks for improving your organisation’s collective hearts and minds.
What is Organisational Culture?
How exactly do we define organisational culture?
This crucial concept has provoked many vigorous debates. Thankfully, most people agree on one thing: organisational culture is about how a company’s management and employees behave. Everyone in the company should be able to understand the culture, and this includes the customers and clients you serve.
Organisational culture starts from the top. Shared values and beliefs are first initiated by the management, before trickling downwards to employees. These consistent patterns and practices shape the processes within an organisation, such as teamwork, collaboration, customer service, and ideation. At the end of the day, members get a clearer understanding of the perceptions and behaviours that are expected of them by the company.
A successful organisational culture is one where members are highly engaged, purpose-driven and can work seamlessly with one another to get to work in achieving the company’s objectives and goals.
A successful organisational culture is one where members are highly motivated. People tend to be more purpose-driven and work seamlessly with one another to achieve the company’s objectives and goals. Employees are supported by a common strategy and structure, which enables efficient and effective performance, and fosters the overall well-being of its members.
Ways to Boost Your Organisational Culture
Establish Meaningful and Applicable Values
It’s not uncommon for people to regard values and principles as a waste of time, but that shouldn’t be the case. Values are more than philosophical statements. They provide guidelines for how members of the organisation should interact with each other, stakeholders, and the public.
For members to take these values seriously and apply them in their working lives, the values should make sense and carry long-term impacts. There is no right or wrong idea, as long as organisations emphasise and act on the values they choose to align with.
Some common values include:
- Integrity: Honesty and ethics
- People Orientation: Emphasis on a people-first culture
- Innovation: Encouraging experimentation and creativity
- Psychological Safety: The freedom to speak up without fear of judgement
- Inclusion: Accepting the individuality of people no matter their background
Implementing core values may seem small, but they can help to ensure that everyone in your company is working towards the same goal. And companies that choose to live by them experience more trust and credibility in the workplace. In turn, employees become more purpose-driven, as you attract more customers who resonate with what you stand for.
Positive Leadership Influence
As mentioned earlier, leaders and managers are responsible for introducing and reinforcing the company’s values. You know what they say: leaders should lead by example, and this belief is no exception in the workplace. If leaders practise what they preach and model the desired behaviour, they will be respected and trusted by their team members. In turn, this leads to greater cohesion and higher morale among employees, and sustainable long-term growth for the company. Leaders also inspire members to improve themselves through opportunities, recognition, feedback, and goal setting.
Leadership and organisational culture go hand in hand, so companies should undoubtedly invest in leadership training for their employees. While some people are naturally born leaders, some are made leaders. As long as individuals have the necessary resources and directions, they can develop into effective leaders.
Traditional leaders may think that micromanaging is necessary in order to ensure employees stay on track with tasks and perform up to standard. However, this can actually be counterproductive, especially when dealing with newer generations of employees. Today, autonomy is what people are looking for in a job role. Employees who are given the freedom to be involved in the decision-making process are more likely to feel empowered and trusted by the company.
For those worried about employees not delivering high-quality work, this is where positive leadership also comes into play. Employees will not make mistakes if they are given adequate support, tools, and information in the first place.
It is important for leaders to know how to empower their people in order to build a winning team. Here are some of our tips on how you can enable your team to reach their potential:
- Foster open dialogue between employees. Besides providing honest and constructive feedback, this also means encouraging different perspectives and challenging one another.
- Support opportunities for growth by investing in your employee’s self-development.
- Give recognition where it is due. Showing appreciation can encourage innovation and initiative, and boost overall performance.
Companies are increasingly finding it difficult to keep employees engaged. An engaged employee essentially describes an individual who is interested in and cares about their work and the company. Even though employees should absolutely have a work-life balance, this does not mean they should not feel connected to their organisation. Leaders and managers can consider improving employee engagement by letting employees know they are vital to the company. For example, employees can be awarded and recognised for their contributions or invited to important meetings.
Knowing how to keep employees motivated is a key factor for businesses to stay ahead of the competition and develop a winning corporate culture. And one of the simplest ways to do so? By getting to know them better! Tools such as StrengthsFinder or Soundwave provide business leaders with a better way to appreciate their people. In turn, this leads to a cultural transformation.
Culture is so deeply ingrained into everything a company does, and thus it can be challenging to transform a culture. However, it is not entirely unattainable. There are methods and steps leaders can take in order to identify current issues within the company. From there, it’s simply about coming up with innovative solutions to improve employees’ experiences and drive positive company culture.
With StrengthsAsia, we are committed to assisting companies in meeting their business goals. Our various workshops are designed to enable our clients to build stronger leaders and employees, as well as to nurture team relationships. We provide leadership development training in Singapore for capable and promising leaders to optimise their skills and enhance the organisational culture of their companies. Likewise, our program for employee engagement training in Singapore can also be helpful. To learn more about StrengthsAsia and the courses we offer, you can reach out to us here.