Leading and Living Organizational Culture
Simply saying you want organizational culture and actually working to implement organizational culture are two entirely different things. You may WANT to have clients knocking down the doors for your business but without the proper marketing and follow through with current clients, you’ll likely find yourself on the hunt for new business instead. Just like with anything in life it takes time, dedication and a strategy to see something of value come to fruition—and the culture of your organization is no different. Here are five ways to actionably create, lead and live a culture that serves your business and the employees that contribute to the growth.
Matt Hawksley, Regional Director at BDP International, has seen the culture of his current organization grow from a smaller family operation to the international company it is today—and if you ask him, it still has that small, family-built sense to it.
For Hawksley, he says, “It’s the principles of trust and purpose that act as the core foundation and from there you build around those two key things. It’s important for employees to feel invested in the workplace and that they can make a difference, because when they lose that trust with leadership, then they stop believing that they have a integral role in the success of the company.”
Especially for companies with branches and offices scattered throughout the world, a united front can help to build a culture that speaks to the customer base no matter where the relationship is formed. This can include pulling successes from various branches and using them to demonstrate company “best practices”—or ignite the energy throughout the team.
Additionally, it’s important to unite the direction of the culture with the overarching goals of the corporate team. “I like to leverage the successes we have throughout the company with the key values that corporate stands for.”
“Every person likely won’t respond to one uniform leadership strategy—and it’s important to work with each individual in the way they need it to drive the trust that is necessary for a healthy working relationship.”
While no one expects baseless recognition there is something to be said about a company that empowers their management teams to look more diligently for it. Hawksley—who personally values employee recognition as one of the top ways to lead and inspire culture—reminds us, “When leaders are seeking to recognize others, it changes the overall morale of everyone involved. We have a hall of Shining Stars which is similar to an Employee of the Month, but even a pat on the back goes a long way towards encouraging your team members—and driving the overall feeling of unity and trust.”
Instituting the steps for culture is one thing but following up and evaluating the success of it is equally important. Naturally, there will be a different “feeling” or ambiance throughout the workplace; however, on a more concrete level, a healthy company culture has obvious signs, such as:
Kevin Bugielski is the Marketing Manager for Victory Lap, a purpose-driven startup changing the sales game. Avid Snapchatter, SoulCycle lover, newfound runner, but ultimately, a foodie.