Shared Belief Creates Culture.
Let me say that again, because that’s all there is to it.
Shared Belief Creates Culture!
I was recently presented with an article about a problem with company culture, and taking responsibility for the actions of employees. It was an article published on LinkedIn by a CEO of a large corporation. (Find the article here) He gently disregards the accusations of racist practices by the firm that have been growing since reports and video of a particular incident became public. As expected he denounces racism, and vows to use this instance as an opportunity to do better stating,
“We must make sure that the culture we aspire to achieve reaches every corner of our company.”
Every corner of the company? Is he denouncing racist practices or does he aspire to denounce them? Who or which area of the company exactly does he think is missing the message? Is he admitting there are area’s of the business where the message against racist practices aren’t clear? I assume he meant to reassure the public, and the company is about to start a new training course that will be required for all employee’s. Maybe a quick call to internally and directly denounce the behavior and practices, and request swift reporting if it’s witnessed. None of which will solve the problem or keep it from happening again because they are addressing a perceived communication problem. The issue wasn’t a company wide lack of communication of these principles. It is a lack of accountability to believe in and uphold them.
Like many company leaders, he is referring to the culture of his company like it exists as oxygen in the buildings and offices, just waiting to be taken in and used by the occupants. However, like a poster hanging on the wall in a break room, the message of company culture only exist once people believe and take action to perpetuate it. It’s a tool. A tool that motivates and inspires the desired behaviors, but only as well as each individual wielding it understands and believes in its purpose. It’s a tool, that misused, can become a weapon of destruction. So, each person wielding it must be held accountable for the outcome, and trained properly in its use. It’s a tool that should be easy to believe in because it makes the work easier and success inevitable. Creating a company culture requires regularly diving deep into the interpersonal workings of the business to ensure this tool is being used effectively and for its intended purpose. Companies must stop regularly to dissect small issues and take action to build belief in the culture before they explode into company failure. What were the shared beliefs that created the environment where employees were confidently acting against company principles?
Large corporations have such a hard time creating and maintaining a culture, in part because they make large gestures but take little action. Blame is quickly placed on the acting employees, and there is little focus on understanding what drove them to take such action. Instead companies create impersonal training and cookie cutter conference calls to tell leadership how to respond to public comments and request immediate reports of wrong doing. They waste their time and resources dictating over simplified and widely accepted ideas, instead of focusing efforts on the small but actionable changes needed to create a shared belief.
Who instills the belief in your company standards to your employees? Leadership! Managers! Supervisors! Team Leads! Trainers! You have to train them so the message and behaviors are clear and consistent, support them when belief if faltering, and give them the tools to hold themselves and their teams accountable.
Business culture is not an idea that exists along side your company. It is created through the work of your business. It is fulfilled by the people of your business. If you’re ready to get to work focusing your hard earned time, attention, and resources on the people creating your culture, so you can achieve the growth and success you desire, you can start the work today! Step back and determine how you would like to change the behaviors of your employees.
Now, take action and join my next P.O.W.E.R. Management Virtual Workshop! Space is limited, times are flexible , and each part of the workshop is created to teach you how to use P.O.W.E.R. strategies to build belief that will focus and motivate your employee’s. The topics we can discuss are your choice, and dedicated to resolving your circumstance. For Example: employee burned out, expressing a poor attitude, struggling to meet expectations, or resisting change.
You will get to hear from others experience and work with me one on one to create solutions.
To read more of my thoughts on this topic read my earlier post Business Culture: The Reflection of Your Mission on Humanity.
It’s time for you to stop wondering why your company culture is not reflecting your mission! It’s time to stop placing blame on employee actions and proactively seek to create lasting solutions. P.O.W.E.R. Up and Reclaim Your Culture!