The 6 Steps of Creating a Positive Culture
Believe it or not, there are established companies throughout the world that continue to refine and enhance their pillars of culture and the correlating values that help to express their mission as an organization.
While certainly not an overnight feat, it is possible and often necessary to make adjustments that ultimately re-align towards one of prosperity and engagement. Get started with the six steps your company must cycle through to see this happen:
Whether you’re just starting your company or are established and in need of a culture shake up, the first step is always sitting down to clearly define your mission, values and pillars of culture. Without these, it’s nearly impossible for leadership to implement changes, leaving employees without a firm understanding of the company’s new direction.
Marsha McClary, Director of Global Licensee Management at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, says that the key to culture is “defining the mission and what you want to accomplish from the beginning. Think about what value statements need to be ingrained in the culture. At Takeda our number one value is looking at how everything we do impacts the patient. Asking questions such as ‘how will this make the customer think or feel’ really changes the discussion for the better.”
Once the values have been established it’s essential to share—and share widely—to ensure that every inch of the company understands your message. “You need to take multiple formats to help your employees learn and retain the information in different ways. Everyone digests changes differently so appeal to everyone in a number of ways.”
Some of the ways McClary suggests are through:
There’s no hidden meaning here—the change in your company has to start at the top. If your employees don’t see the leadership team owning the culture, then no one else will either—it’s that simple.
McClary reminds us that in an ever-changing workforce—with more Millennials joining daily—the needs and motivators are in flux as well. More importantly she explains, “Reinforcing the values you desire in the culture can be done through recognition. People are wired to appreciate recognition differently; some like verbal praise, others like to talk over a lunch or coffee. You’d be surprised how many people appreciate a written note because it’s increasingly rare to get that anymore.”
As the progress continues for establishing the new culture of your company, gaining insights and feedback into what’s working—and more importantly, what isn’t working—will help leaders to continue to shape the strategies going forward. Yearly evaluations, pulse surveys and informal sit-downs all help to accomplish this goal.
Finally, it’s about who you bring into your organization during the next round of hires that will continue to define your culture outlook. “You have to hire the right team members from the beginning. Find people that are looking to learn and grow within your company. Employees that easily align with your values will always be more motivated and passionate about the success of the company.”
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.