A successful organizational culture is built upon a combination of factors that collectively shape the values, behaviors, and practices within a company. Here are some suggestions for building a winning culture.

by Dennis Gershowitz
Date Published December 12, 2023 - Last Updated December 12, 2023

A successful organizational culture is built upon a combination of factors that collectively shape the values, behaviors, and practices within a company. Dr. Jessica Kriegel has pointed out that revenue growth in strong culture companies is four times that of weak culture companies. Adi Gaskell, referencing Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends reports, has touted the benefits of investing in culture, concluding that organizational culture is the single most likely thing to transform the workplace.

Other studies have cited culture as underpinning everything from remote working to an organization’s sustainability ambitions. The importance of culture was reinforced by recent research from consulting firm Culture Shift, which suggested that so-called toxic cultures were costing UK businesses billions. The researchers cited things like a lack of trust and respect, poor work-life balance, and generally not being valued as key markers of a toxic workplace culture.

The importance of culture to your organizational and business success is clear. With this in mind, let's discuss some of the important qualities of a winning culture that you should focus on to strengthen your team’s culture.

The organization should have a very clear and understandable mission, vision, and set of values that set the path for the decision-making and actions the team will take. Along with this, you as the leader, set the tone for the culture. You must be sure that you are leading by example and “walking the walk,” not just talking about it. What you do will need to embody the values of the organization, and you will find yourself tasked with continually working to reinforce and maintain the culture you are looking for. Furthermore, you have a responsibility to ensure employees clearly understand the sense of purpose. This enables them to understand how their work matters and contributes to the overall success of the business.

There needs to be transparency and an environment of open communication. This encourages collaboration and idea sharing, and most importantly, it sets the stage for honest feedback. Along with this, we want to make employees feel empowered and have some level of autonomy. This will lead to their feeling valued and subsequently, the willingness to be engaged in their work.

Investing in employees' learning and development is a must and must be on a continuous basis. Employees must also be accountable and realize that they are responsible for their actions and the outcomes. This results in a culture in which responsibility and ownership are characteristic.

Today, organizations are challenged by turbulent and ever-changing environments. To meet these challenges, they must have adaptability and flexibility along with resilience and perseverance. Encourage these attributes within your culture to meet the upcoming challenges and to adapt readily to needed changes.

In addition to these steps, I appreciated the formula Dr. Kriegel set out for creating a culture that drives results.:

  1. Align around results, actions, and beliefs necessary to win.
  2. Activate real experiences.
  3. Accelerate with positive accountability.
  4. Assess to optimize.

In summary, remember that each organization is unique and the elements that you need to go after may vary. However, cultivating, changing, and maintaining a strong organizational culture requires ongoing effort, reinforcement, and adaptation. Build on your team’s existing attributes and look for ways to strengthen these, add to them, and gain momentum and commitment from your employees. The change and growth you look forward to will be complex and take time. You will need assessment on a continuing basis and a willingness to change direction at times. This effort requires a long-term map that succeeds with commitment from you, your leadership, and your employees.

Tag(s): supportworld, leadership, collaboration, culture, employee engagement, employee satisfaction


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