Peter Drucker tells us that, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast!” Quite simply, if your team is not engaged and is not willing to implement your business strategy, then you are fighting a losing battle.
So how do you ensure your business culture is working towards driving the strategy and not eating it for breakfast?
Here are some pointers:
- Together with your team, define the culture you want to see and experience in your business. Culture is a living breathing element and should be given it’s own personal characteristics. For example your culture is inclusive, kind, fair and responsible. These could also be aligned to your companies values.
- No one is bigger than the culture! This means that everyone must align themselves to the culture. No exceptions to the rule. For example, everyone greets visitors coming into the office, including the boss. A small gesture, but a powerful reflection of the business.
- Hire for culture fit, not just for experience. You may be interested in hiring a dynamic sales and marketing manager for the business. They have years of experience and have worked for top performing companies all over the world. However, when they arrive for the interview, they are incredibly rude and dismissive to the receptionist. Do you think that that person will fit into your company culture and if they did start working for you, how would their behaviour affect the team culture? Ensure that culture fit is at the top of your interview and assessment criteria form. If ruthless and rude are what you are going for, then hire them on the spot!
- Everyone is responsible for maintaining the culture. If the team are vigilant and aware of the characteristics of the culture and the business values are on a daily basis consistently front and centre, then maintaining the culture is easy. However, if habits and behaviours not reflecting the business culture and values are allowed space and fester in the workplace without been checked, then by the time you are aware of what’s going on, you sit with a toxic culture.
- Leaders drive culture. Yes, everyone is responsible for maintaining the culture. However, the business owner/managers/ leaders in the business are the key drivers. Remember, your team follows your lead and whatever behaviour and habits you condone will become norms in your business. You cannot delegate your role in culture maintenance, you are responsible at all times.
Your business culture is developing and evolving on its own, every day, with cultural norms becoming embedded into the workplace wether you like it or not. Are you happy with the results or do you need to make change?