Nov 5, 2012
The universal concept of corporate strength emerging from common goals is not new to the business world. We know that people working together accomplish greater end results than individuals seeking so to do alone. Such a culture will define a people or a company. However, culture is more than working in unison. It is the combination of team effort, commitment, empowerment, and individual accountability.
Culture is the driving force of change. Integrated into the fabric of culture is the ability to communicate, promote knowledge and beliefs, and transmit that ability to future generations. A business culture exists to ensure that each employee and visitor to the organization enjoys the experience and has success with the associated products or services.
Within troubled businesses there exists a commonly perceived myth: “Our company is about widgets and profits, not about people and programs.” Today, companies adverse to culture will not survive. They will not adapt to the required changes of today’s business environment.
Swimmers exposed to freezing water temperatures can die in 15 minutes with little understanding of their dire predicament (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothermia). Similarly, in order for businesses to be viable ten years from now they must be willing to get out of the debilitating cold. It is much easier to thrive in a healthy environment. Companies of tomorrow must create and sustain that environment.
Successful companies expand knowledge and develop new generation skills required to be impactful in their industry. Based upon proven practices, training and educational programs, and improved communication skills, company culture is being defined and implemented. Conversations regarding cultural transformation are likely occurring more and more frequently. Is your business having such discussions?
In order to construct a sustainable cultural within a company, substantial transformation must occur; first among leaders, then throughout the business structure. And since leadership dynamics are transferable, implementing a training development system first among management is paramount.
No amount of methodology will be effectual if determined by the majority to be of no use. Business leaders must create the forward-thinking shift in employee perception that will permit a culture to be redefined and adopted. By implementing and sustaining a consistent task-oriented process that generates happiness within the business and beyond the employee base, retention will increase.
Start by examining your employee turnover. If it is high, ask the difficult question “As leaders, are we failing our people?” Be willing to isolate the answer and draw upon team members on the front-line to present remedies. To win, create a culture that is solution-oriented, consistently acknowledged, informed, and heard.
7 Best Practices
Here are seven practices that define your company culture:
- Install uniform leadership practices. Identify the way in which your leaders will interact with their constituents.
- Install and refine recruitment and hiring processes. Develop an internal talent management system educating and promoting from within where possible. Acknowledge a job well done. Let peers celebrate the success of their coworkers. The ability to advance in one’s career is a great motivational tool.
- Implement a mentoring system among your newly-hired employees. First instruct the employee, then guide them in that instruction. This process helps to reduce human error and eliminate mediocrity.
- Advance vibrant communication throughout the company. Implement an effective business-meeting style, agenda protocol, accountability practices, and heightened telecommunications.
- Position customer retention ideals at the core of every transaction, interaction, and training. Assure full dissemination of training materials throughout management departments. Follow-up at fixed intervals requiring systemic accountability of all management.
- Uphold regular departmental training among employees with manager participation. No exceptions. Utilize vast human resource involvement.
- Formulate one-year, three-year, and five-year goals and share these goals corporate-wide.
Viable systems, accountability, and profit are earning incremental customer retention at little or no monetary expense. Companies must champion a sustainable culture built by individuals willing to adapt and move forward as a team. A culture of this type is paramount for businesses to be effective perpetually today.