Company culture – how can we get it right?

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There’s a lot to be said about the culture and environment a business defines and operates within; but how can the desired culture be created, be natural and be consistent?

Does the type of business define the culture, or is it enforced and sculptured by the managers that have employee responsibility?

I’d like to think that all businesses will have a business plan of sorts as a bare minimum and additionally may have already considered the mission, values and vision of the company as part of the long-term business strategy.
Those selected elements will assist to embed a framework to support the desired culture, but is that all a business needs to make the culture effective?

Often in the corporate world, those that created the business and defined the mission, values and vision are likely to be removed from the business employee ‘day to day’ interactions and are therefore unable to connect their employees to the original cultural expectations.

As it’s left to the managers for cascading those culture ideals that dictate employee morale and the working environment, they themselves MUST believe and take ownership and accountability to adhere to them.

The company culture is heavily linked and influenced by those that manage people.

When managers do not deliver the cultural philosophies, which could be for a number of factors, the consequences can be very negative and any attempt to improve can be extremely hard to reverse successfully.

For companies that take their eye off the ball with culture, this can be where failure occurs.

I’m sure you’ve all been in or seen a working environment whereby a manager interacts with an approach of domination, intimidation and making the culture one of fear, blame and authority.

This style may have some initial success but who would want to stay for long there? Morale is reduced and the good employees will often move on to another business to feel appreciated and effectively engaged.

Don’t get me wrong; a strict management style isn’t particularly negative, as long as the culture is that of fear.

I’m sure we also don’t want a manager that can’t make decisions and appears to have no backbone as they still won’t gain respect, but the environment is much more positive.

Don’t you feel that most employees do need some kind of direction and need an engaging manager, not a friend?

The best way to deliver the desired culture is by managers who understand, deliver, live and breathe the desired characteristics.

The most effective managers can foster a successful environment, leading by example. They command respect and not demand it!

They are able to find a balance of common ground of control and friendships by enhancing relationships with successful business activities, whilst keeping employee morale consistently high and make the work place enjoyable to be at.

So, its WHO that defines the culture! Surprised?

How about your company? What can you see and what are you aiming for? Do your managers exude the cultural expectations?

It’s never too late to make a change for the better.

Scott Maddy MCIPD

HR gone Mad www.hrgonemad.co.uk

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