Is your organisation’s culture predefined or has it evolved over time? Cultures that evolve over time can take any shape or form. Two types cultures that arise from evolution are the distinct hierarchy and the clan culture. Left to their own devices, neither of these cultures have proved to be very profitable for an organisation. On the other hand, every leader has the option to pre-define the cultural norms and ensure that they are followed.
Developing a culture that drives profitability is within reach of every organisation and can be achieved with a few key manoeuvres.
The good, the bad and the strategy
Your own experiences must have taught you that a culture of oneness is far more productive than one with divisions. We all know how a hierarchy works; the boss at the top, then the managers, and below that are the lesser mortals. What happens in the case of a hierarchy, is that some brilliant ideas by junior employees never see the light of day, and many incredible visions are never clearly conveyed to those that could make them a reality.
When the people within an organisation cannot see eye to eye, it is productivity that suffers. In such a case, what you need is a culture strategy for a strategic culture. You need to guide your company culture to be one where teamwork is encouraged, and everyone works together towards a common goal. You need to create a spirit of unity within the company that will help to drive profitability. While it is always best to have cultural norms in place right from the start, the good news is that it’s never too late to steer a company towards a more holistic and beneficial culture.
Here’s what you can do to create a strategic company culture aimed at profitability.
Have a value system in place: At the inception of an organisation it is important to have a set of values in place. If you refuse to compromise on quality, you state that, if you don’t want to overwork your employees, you put that down too. You should also put down as part of your values system to treat all employees well and equally, and that all employees treat each other with respect.
Design your mission statement: Your mission statement reflects your relationship with the external world. If your mission is to inspire a sense of community and contribute to society, put that clearly in your mission statement. That statement should tie in with the values of your company and epitomise those values in whatever way possible.
Create your cultural goals to incorporate your values and mission: You have your value system, you have your mission statement, now you can create your cultural goals that align with what your company stands for. You can do that by extending the same courtesies to your employees. You can also include your employees in planning your value system. This will create a sense of belonging and pave a smoother path towards your mission.
Develop a profitability culture: Creating your cultural norms to be inclusive and treating all employees equally encourages equality within the workforce. Once you have that in place you can then build a profitability culture. As mentioned earlier, profitability comes from teamwork. Organise workshops and team building activities that can strengthen the way your employees work as a team.
HR and management need to work together to make sure that while a natural hierarchy does exist, it does not cause stark distinctions between executives and junior employees. Everyone should feel comfortable communicating and exchanging ideas with everyone so that no stroke of brilliance goes unnoticed. Brainstorming sessions where every stratum of employees is encouraged to present their views is a good way to develop a culture which is conducive to profitability. Like the many pieces of a jigsaw puzzle every department has a piece to contribute to the whole picture and it is when a culture of oneness is cultivated, the finished product is at its best quality and will drive profits.