Creating a Culture That Lasts
“Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast” – <attribution>
Culture is a critical part of your company. If you don’t get the culture right and ensure that it continues to develop in meaningful ways, toxicity, dissatisfaction, and retention can become real issues.
When the focus turns towards creating a high-performing culture, it gives everyone a better understanding of what is needed and expected to keep the company healthy and performing at a high level.
Seven key aspects for a High Performing Culture
During my time at the Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine, the following seven aspects were identified as critical in helping employees work as effectively as possible while also creating value and optimizing the company’s performance.
Trust– Trust is an ability to personally connect beyond a task at hand and work together as a team.
There are two types of trust, predictive trust, and vulnerability-based trust. First, let’s look at predictive trust. When it comes to this type of trust, there’s this idea that if I ask you to complete a task, you will do it.
With vulnerability-based trust, people accept their coworkers, even though they might make mistakes and aren’t perfect. Patrick Lencioni calls this “bare naked trust”. Basically that you are able to accept and be accepted by your coworkers, both for strengths and weaknesses.
Autonomy– Autonomy is the ability to use talents and implement new ideas that help the company.
Letting people have the ability to try and learn, fail and grow helps them become more capable and take on more responsibilities. And as we mentioned in our last blog post, make sure that the visions and values of the company are clear so that it gives a guide for future decision making. The opposite of autonomy, is micro-managing, which no one likes.
Ownership– Ownership is about taking on responsibility while performing roles with ease.
Employees should be able to take ownership of their place within the organization and have the ability to make decisions on how they want to get tasks done. This directly correlates with autonomy because as long as the standards are set up front, let employees do their job and see if they can achieve or exceed the expectations set for them.
Truthfulness– Truthfulness is not being afraid to speak and receive the truth.
Similar to ownership and autonomy, if you’re able to trust your employees to have a clear understanding of the vision and values, then they should also have the ability to speak the truth based on how they perceive it.
By having the space to bring up what is bothering them or ways things could improve within the organization, helps the team continue to grow, understand, and feel ready to take on more responsibilities. It also can provide a sense of ownership within the organization
Facing and resolving negative realities– It’s normal to make mistakes in life, don’t be afraid of talking about them.
No one is perfect, and regardless of how hard someone works, things won’t always go according to plan. Often, mistakes are made by employees. These mistakes can be from a number of reasons, lack of training, misguided enthusiasm, and rarely they might even be malicious. Understanding and allowing imperfect people room to learn allows for growth and trust within the corporate culture. That said, there is a difference between a misdemeanor mistake and a felony mistake.
A misdemeanor is when someone makes a small mistake but with the right intentions, or possibly needs more training. A felony is when someone makes a big mistake, from a position of malice or neglect which may have significant or grave consequences for the company.
It is up to leadership to determine the difference, and figure out how the potential of their people. Don’t spend time trying to fix something that won’t change.
Development– Development is the opportunity to focus on bettering your current skills or even taking the time to learn some new ones.
In life, the only constant thing is change. This means you need to understand how to help support your team, both technically and relationally. It doesn’t matter if the support comes through coaching, conferences, or training. What matters is providing opportunities for your employees to continue to be successful and knowing how to assist them along the way.
Mission orientation– Mission Orientation is knowing the bigger picture while ensuring that everything aligns with the mission and vision. When you understand the mission and values of the organization, you feel a part of the team, you can relate with your coworkers, which means the culture can continue to grow.
The importance of a High Performing Culture
Culture is essential to the success of any company. It doesn’t matter how skilled your employees are or how long you’ve been in business. When the culture is toxic, nothing will go according to plan.
Values need to be lived, not just aspirational. As a leader, you have opportunities to celebrate values and ensure that those who are behaving in ways that exemplify them are recognized. You cannot over-communicate your values. The success of any business comes from everyone working as a team. If there’s a toxic environment, the organization can’t function properly. If you have a toxic culture, your company won’t function well. But once you deal with the toxic culture and provide a place where employees can grow and develop, you’ll start to reap the benefits.
Get Professional Help
Knowing where to start and how to create a high-performing culture can feel intimidating, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Tackship Consulting can help you understand the areas you’re doing well in and where you can improve while creating a culture that supports the growth and development of your employees.
Activate your passion, and optimize your performance with Tackship Consulting today. To learn more, schedule your free consultation.