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Culture by Design, Not by Default

by Jody Ordioni

An effective culture is the duty of the leader and an integral part of a company’s success. A company is synonymous with its culture. The foremost and a valid requirement of the workforce is a strong culture within the company. it is the culture of the company that can attract potential talent or in contrast, results in the loss of valuable employees.

While in the past a few beers and pool-tables might have sufficed in the name of culture, the current times are a touch different. Though in theory, many leaders understand the idea, taking it into practice is a complex task. It does take months to hone a culture in the company that is strong and promises to stand the tides of time.

The Start-up Ideology

If you look at the life cycle of a start-up company, they do not singularly focus on the creation of a product or service. They go beyond to foster a steadfast culture in the company. When culture is weighed with equal importance as other aspects, it can make or break a company.

You might not always choose to invest in culture. The decision to choose between business success and cultural success can be really hard to make. The investment of time and money in only one can be a tough call later. However, elevating the importance of a strong culture from the start can help reap benefits in the future.

Discover Your Purpose

The cornerstone of culture by design is the articulation of the vision of the company. Simply put, the company culture should reflect what the company aspires to be. The initial point should be the iteration of core values and should answer the ‘why, what, how’.

After going through an inclusive process, it was found that the diversity in the workforce, especially at all levels helps to build a system that is relevant to all. The fresh set of values and purpose should be delivered to the conscious of the employees routinely.

Communication is Key

For culture to successfully establish, there needs to be a mutual understanding amongst the employees and the company, of the company’s mission and vision. Appointing any leaders for action plan should include people who can establish functional networks within any department and are immersed in the offerings of the company.

They should be able to execute the vision of the company on a daily basis and carry others along by raising them. The leaders are expected to act freely to praise actions that deserve it and criticize wherever required.

Practice What You Preach

Outlining company values is not enough, they should also be embodied within the organization. This structuring has to begin from the top. An important model that young employees should imitate is that learning and growth constitute each stage of a career. It is better to ensure that everyone receives training as-and-when they require it and also support if they wish to invest in their education.

Investment in Culture

Instituting a plan and budget in place can determine the success of the company culture. One method of engaging employees with the company is to design year-round activities that allow them to engage beyond client-based interactions.

Covering events, big or small, and embedding them into the company culture puts forth time that everyone can enjoy. With a simple plan and initially small investments, a culture that is enjoyable for all can stand on its own feet.

The Journey that Matters

It can be easy to singularly focus on the end goal and use it as a celebration to come together. Yet the real joy lies in celebrating the steps and rewarding the collaborations that led to the completion of the goal. Shout-outs to processes and people are a reminder that happiness can grow from any idea or individual.

Culture is a never-ending road, laced with self-evaluation and nurturing. The people of the business are the most valuable asset and their needs should take precedence.

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