Creating and Reinforcing Organizational Culture

by Shari Harley,  The Harley Group

Deliberately creating and reinforcing culture remains elusive for many organizations.  Organizational leaders frequently ask the questions:  How do I create an environment in which people want to work, where they work hard, produce meaningful results, and work well together?

Offering change management and culture workshops alone will not do the job.  Organizational culture is like the air you breathe and the water you drink. It is the atmosphere.  It is pervasive. And it is created and reinforced by organizational leaders’ and managers’ daily actions and the actions and behaviors that are permitted in the organization.

Every time an employee who makes a mistake is coached and given more responsibility rather than less, a culture of risk taking and professional development is reinforced.

Every time an employee who is difficult for others to work with but delivers results is acknowledged, a culture of results trump relationships is reinforced.

Every time someone who delivers results but behaves unethically is allowed to remain employed, a culture of results at any cost is reinforced.

Questions to consider when creating and reinforcing organizational culture:

What is company’s reputation with clients, the community and past employees?

What are the company’s values and how are the values being demonstrated by employees, every day?

Are the values part of the recruiting process? Are candidates who don’t demonstrate a commitment to practicing those values eliminated from the hiring process?

Is conflict dealt with directly?  Do people talk to people when challenges occur or about them?

How are failures and mistakes managed? Are they used as a chance to punish or encourage growth and development?

Do Managers ask for feedback from their employees regularly?  Are they open to that feedback and do they visibly attempt to respond to feedback by changing behaviors, policies or practices?

Is a focused and fun working environment fostered?

How are accomplishments celebrated?  Is recognition and celebration of accomplishments done in a way that is meaningful to the people being recognized?

Do Managers know their employees’ spouse’s and children’s names, and employees’ personal and professional goals and interests?

Are birthdays and company anniversary dates acknowledged?

Most companies find room for opportunity here. Like people, organizations are constantly evolving and developing.  If organizations are not constantly inventing themselves, they are probably not attracting new talent, products, services and customers.

, ,


Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

Comments are closed.