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Five things you need to know about culture

To survive in an increasingly competitive world businesses are having to dig deep to ensure they do everything in their power to deliver against their strategic priorities and live up to their purpose. The focus on fostering a culture of belonging, where everyone is aligned behind the purpose of the organisation has never been more important.   

Businesses often know when something isn’t quite right; people aren’t collaborating, change is slow, or the numbers and customer satisfaction is below expectations. But few know how to take a methodical and practical approach to assessing where you are today, and articulating where you want to get to.

Here are five things you need to consider if you want to focus on culture:

1.    Not everything needs to be the same.

Sub-cultures exist in most businesses, and that’s OK if there are some overriding traits that unite your people as a community. Recognising and articulating what these are is what makes the difference between a dynamic and rich environment and a siloed business.

2.    It starts at the top.

The tone is set at the very top of the organisation. To successfully evolve the culture of a business you need to start with your leaders. They need to be aligned behind where you are going and understand the role they need to play. If they fail to role model the behaviours you want to see, the change will not happen.

3.    You need to join the dots.

Talking about where you want to go needs to start with your purpose and strategy. You need make sure that the behaviours you articulate as being important are in pursuit of your purpose and delivery of your strategy.If you don’t join the dots, your people won’t be able to get on the journey with you and see how they can make a difference. 

4.    Celebrate what you need to see more of.  

If you want to see certain characteristics and behaviours in your business, celebrate them.   Tell stories that show them being lived day-to-day, and re-orientate your reward programmes to focus on them.

5.    Culture is an outcome.

Culture cannot be designed or mandated, and cultures don’t evolve by accident. Culture is an outcome. If you want certain behaviours to be evident in your business, you need to purposefully create the conditions for them to thrive.

If you want to know more about what it takes to build a culture that drives growth and delivers your purpose, contact us at hello@unitedcultureco.com.

*Image by Luis Quintero