How do I Create a Positive Culture in my Organisation?
Assess how Positive your Corporate Culture Is
What is a Positive Culture?
High performance cultures are characterised by the following behaviour:
- Can-do spirit - Mutual support
- Bias for action
- Passion for the customer
- Collaboration - Positive attitudes
- Willingness to change
How do I Create a Positive Culture?
Changing a culture requires systematic effort over time. Moving too fast or too slow may interfere with daily operations and become taxing and ultimately wearying.To be effective you need to:
- The involvement of people.
- An emphasis on results.
- A total systems approach.
- Continuing commitment, not merely lip service.
Specific steps to build a positive culture in your business include:
Describing your Future and Current States
The clearer you can describe your future and current states, the more successfully the transition will be managed.
Obtaining Management Buy-in and Commitment
Senior management commitment is required for any initiative to be successful. In a hierarchical structure, visible modeling behavior and gut-level commitment and involvement of senior management is very important. Mere lip service, a lack of understanding or visible support from the top can frustrate any change efforts. Without their commitment or demonstrated leadership, initiatives stall, fall substantially short of the expectation or just plain fail. Having a management team who is committed and consistent in their behaviour results in organisational change that is quicker, deeper and more sustainable.
Management commitment is more likely to lead to:
- Greater loyalty and commitment being demonstrated by managers at every level
- Culture being integrated into core business activities
- Changes in systems to improve business results
- Changes in work practices and expectations.
Make sure to keep them informed - your management team needs to understand what is going on at all times.
Implementing a Change Strategy
People need to help plan, develop, and experience what is happening within your organisation. To be effective, they need to be a part of any change, not merely hear about it and be expected to adhere to it.
You need to develop an overall strategy with clear, well defined goals. Your strategy needs to include the following elements:
- Open sharing of business information
- Clear definition of purpose and values
- Detailed analysis of your different tiers of customers you need to service and the marketplace
- Alignment of employees goals and roles with your organisation's purpose and values
- Assessment of your systems and processes to remove any barriers to change
- A plan to move your organisation through the change process
- Review and feedback processes
Reviewing and Changing your Strategy
Undertake regular reviews. This requires discipline!
The focus should always be positive whether you are dealing with productivity, quality control or morale. Focusing on scapegoating or recriminating individuals or groups for past mistakes only impedes cultural change.
These reviews are designed to adapt to the changing issues facing your organisation and celebrate successes. There is no "one size fits all"! These reviews help you to:
- Refocus strategic goals and galvanise for never-ending change without sacrificing your organization's core values
- Identify, use and adapt the unwritten rules that drive your organization and use them to gain leverage
- Galvanise action toward your organisation's vision without having to wait for a crisis
- Align your operations - Change policies and structures simultaneously, while avoiding performance disruption
- Make your people the agents of change, not its victims by changing the way they think about their day-to-day actions
- Instill a continuous learning mindset aimed at sustaining high performance
How do I Maintain a Positive Culture?
Develop an Effective Recruitment Program
How you find and select people will have a lot to do with how you maintain your culture. The high cost of turnover, makes it especially important, when hiring, to engage the right person.
Implement an Induction Programme
The key is to make sure that the first day is a "great" day. Psychologically, people are more open to understanding and adapting to a new "culture" during their first day on the job. Introduction to other key players and exposure to existing policies and procedures is essential during the early stages along with periodic feedback.
Train and Develop your People
Significant time, sufficient energy and support should be given everyone who enters your business. All training programmes should be motivational, as well as informative, whether in a classroom setting or on the job.
A Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development study found that two thirds of organisations admitted insufficient training and development was put in place in the wake of organisational change initiatives. More than half said the training and development implications of change were simply not thought through.
Communicate Clearly and Often
Clear, consistent and constant communication is critical in maintaining any cultural change effort. To be effective, communication - a two-way process - requires feedback and follow-up. Everyone should be encouraged to speak up, ask questions and seek clarification of issues to avoid misunderstandings. In a positive culture, everyone enjoys a sense of belonging and involvement. Use delegation as a way of informing and involving others. In today's sophisticated environment, being able to delegate responsibility, may be crucial in meeting customer expectations and deadlines. Have an "open door" policy along with regular meetings, that include members of management and a sampling of employees, to review major goals, problems and opportunities, and to make sure these are communicated to the rest of the staff.
Recognition and Reward
Recognition of both positive and negative behavior, and achievement versus goals, are critical factors in establishing a positive culture. Everyone should have a set of goals and objectives. In a positive culture, praise, recognition and encouragement need to be constant. Incentive programs, whether cash bonuses, a trip, or other award, for meeting and/or exceeding objectives and goals, are also recommended.
Negative behavior needs to be addressed. Individuals who do not choose, or are unable to embody the positive aspects and goals set forth by your business, may be terminated. Often such people will decide on their own to seek employment elsewhere.
Get in Touch with Jump
If you need help, or you answered no or unsure to any of the questions in the assessment tool, then Jump Business Solutions can help you. Phone us on +64 6 754 8987 or +64 27 450 5271 or email email@example.com and Jump will come to you, discover your needs, and develop a solution that will create real, long-term and positive change for you and your business.
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