Company Culture – Part 1: Communicating and Engaging The Team
- What are the Company Core Values?
- What’s non-negotiable?
- How do you treat each other?
- What’s not acceptable?
- How does everyone know what’s right and wrong in your business?
- For example, if one of your core values is Personal Growth – what does that mean exactly?
- Are staff supposed to self identify what they need/want to learn (either personal skills or technical skills)?
- Who supports their goals?
- What is expected of them and you?
- How will progress be measured and communicated?
- What if the goals change?
- What will it look like every day if Personal Growth is a part of daily culture?
I’ve worked with many companies and teams to identify and define their Culture and Core Values. For the companies that print them into the employee handbook and post them on the wall – there’s little or no impact. But for those who enliven and communicate the Core Values as a part of daily focus and language – it’s transformational.
When Core Values can be used every day to guide decisions, discussions and behaviour there is no looking back. These companies attract right fit people, clients, suppliers and projects/contracts. Their policies align with the core values, processes, performance evaluations, brand messaging, social media posts – everything aligns, and creates the company ‘slip stream’.
Recently, I spent a day with a management team of ten. We were working on stepping up their personal leadership abilities, and solving perennial challenges. We went through an exercise, where in two groups, they listed all of the company processes and policies they felt were consistently broken or not working. A year previously, the Company Core Values had been clearly defined and communicated. When we looked at the lists produced by the two groups, what I saw, was a bunch of ignored core values. I challenged them to rhyme off the values to me, which they did with ease. Then I asked them to help me to understand how their lists could exist if the core values were being followed?
After an interesting silence, one by one, they piped up and started talking about which core values weren’t being followed, and what the different outcome would be if they were to keep those values at the forefront of every hour each day. The energy in the room became so dynamic and exciting! They could see very quickly how the solution to most of their challenges was right in front of them. All they had to do was agree to fully engage in the culture that was already established. It was a very cool revelation for them all – and I’m looking forward to hearing back from them with examples of how their engagement and shift in mindset is making a difference this spring. I’m confident that their ‘aha’ moment in our Leadership Day session will carry them through to hold themselves and each other accountable to consistent behaviour, alignment with policies and consistent engagement in procedures across the board.
So, if your company struggles at times with achieving consistent attitudes, actions and accountability, have faith. In my experience, most of the reason for inconsistent results is rooted in a lack of understanding and clarity on what’s expected and what’s wrong-fit. If you’re not sure about how effective a clearly defined company culture can be, then contact CBH to begin defining your Core Values, and see for yourself.
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