What is workplace culture?
Your workplace culture is essentially your company personified. And it is directly associated with the people that you hire and the accepted practices that develop within your organization. It creates the social norms within the walls of your company. And, this culture can change as members, mentalities, and processes shift. According to the Project Management Institute, these are a few common ways that company culture can manifest:
- Shared visions, values, norms, beliefs, and expectations
- Policies, methods, and procedures
- View of authority relationships
- Work ethic and work hours
What is important to note as well, is that workplace culture is also impacted by societal culture shifts. Think of the recent #metoo movement, and its powerful effect on workplace culture. And also the changes brought about by generational shifts. The new cultural norms currently impacting workplace culture today will undoubtedly evolve as newer generations join the workforce.
How does it affect your business?
Your workplace culture will affect every facet of your business. It will determine everything, from your company’s image, to your ability to remain in operations. Here are just a few examples of the effect that culture will have on your office:
- If your staff come in early or arrive late
- The turnover rate of your office
- The mood in your office
- The cleanliness of your office
- How your staff engage with customers
- How your staff engage with each other
- How your staff engage with management
- If plans get implemented and how quickly
How long does it take to develop?
This is a tricky question. Some sources say it is possible to develop it on day one, while others claim that it takes years. If we take a look at results from some big name companies who have overhauled their company culture, we find that it certainly does vary. For Disney’s Animation Studio, the turnaround took roughly 90 days, according to Jeffrey Katzenberg. Domino’s reported a 2-year time frame, and it took Steve Jobs about 1.5 years to change the face of Apple.
How do you influence it?
Because workplace culture is ultimately defined by your staff, it’s imperative when looking to influence your workplace culture, that you focus on your hiring processes.
How do you do this? First, define what type of culture that you would like for your company to have. In other words—if your business were a person, what kind of personality would you like it to have? Patrick Lencioni, author of the national bestselling book, The Advantage, encourages organizations to try and narrow these down to a small set of values. These values will become your core values.
Be careful not to choose too many core values. If you do, it may create difficulty in your hiring, decision, and policy making—you actually want to hire a variety of people, who will bring different viewpoints and diversity to the meeting table. Once you have chosen your core values, then you can focus on candidates that share them with the rest of the people in your company.
How do you change your culture if it is not headed in the right direction?
The fastest way to change your workplace culture, if it is not headed in the right direction, is to analyze it. During this time, you need to determine where things are going wrong. Once you have discovered what needs to change, it is time to start turning things around. As we say at Dexcomm, when things start going off track—it’s time to get back to the basics.
Once everyone in your company knows where you stand in accordance to acceptable and non-acceptable behaviors and practices (this should be reflected in your core values), then you must determine if you have any “outliers.” Your outliers will be those people who are not acting in accordance with your desired workplace culture.
It is important that you discover why the individual/outlier is out of compliance, and then determine if or if not coaching can help the individual become a better fit. If not, then letting the person go to find somewhere else where they will blend in with a new culture is imperative.
It is important to note that EVERYONE, especially management, can influence your culture, therefore no-one should be considered “off limits” for actions if they are not positively influencing your workplace culture.
If you are looking for an answering service who knows the importance of culminating a workplace culture focused on its customer experience, then look no further!