How to Ignite and Sustain Workplace Culture in 4 Actionable Steps

Uncategorized March 8, 2018

How to Ignite and Sustain Workplace Culture in 4 Actionable Steps

Jason Richmond
Jason is passionate about helping large companies embrace outstanding culture. He engages with clients by sharing his passion for learning and instilling a sense of leadership and confidence with everyone.

Whether it’s the mindset of the team members, the cubicles on the office floor or the day to day workload, that could become routine, one thing’s for sure: our workplace environment impacts culture.  Employees deserve an environment, conducive to productivity and success. Leadership teams must take responsibility to steer the “culture ship” so to speak—but how? I sat down with Marcia Lyssy, Chief Human Resources Officer at BDP International, to get her insights on how your company can ignite and sustain culture to regain traction for success.

Celebrate What’s Working

It can’t all be bad, right? Somewhere inside the processes and strategies that need attention, there are working pieces to the puzzle that should be celebrated. Perhaps it’s a certain division, or a new policy that’s being adhered to strictly—whatever it is, big or small, highlight it to show that you do see the positives amongst the negatives. Lyssy points out, “When you’re trying to move mountains, it’s important to acknowledge what is successful and reinforce the positives.”

Engage the Masses

We can all agree that one person isn’t going to change company culture all on his or her own, so why try? Instead, Lyssy suggests engaging and motivating the masses to come together when overhauling outdated policies that no longer serve the company. To do so, consider:

  • Surveying anonymously for employee feedback
  • Appointing team leaders from employees with proven track records
  • Holding roundtables or ‘town halls’ that give employees a voice
  • Incentivizing the changes

Effective leaders know that it’s easy for a group of executives to sit in a boardroom and say what needs to change, but that it’s the people working the job day in and day out that truly have a pulse on what’s working—and what’s not.

Walk the Walk

Perhaps one of the most essential pieces of Lyssy’s advice comes down to walking the walk—or leading by example—a simple, yet often overlooked step in leadership. While a company may have a set of founding values and a strict set of guidelines to follow, if the people at the top dismiss these same things, opting to change the rules only for themselves, how is the culture of a workplace expected to flourish? The employee base of a successful culture will mirror either the positive or the negative characteristics of their superiors—the choice is up to you.

Don’t Change Everything At Once

While massive change is sometimes necessary, it still must be taken in steps. Decide what needs to change first, and in small increments go from there. Lyssy explains that even the “best of intentions will get watered down if too many messages are trying to be conveyed at once.”

Culture is one of the backbones of a successful company; with it, the sky is the limit for both the CEO and the team members—but without, it’s a sure sign of impending disaster. Especially in a Millennial-driven era that places so much weight on working in an environment that serves the employees, having a toxic culture can lead you through a never-ending hamster wheel of attrition, which inevitably hinders productivity. While making the choice to ignite and sustain culture is no easy feat, with dedication, passion—and these 4 steps—you can begin to enjoy the many benefits that a healthy company culture can yield.