Money & Career
Company Culture…Are we owners or renters?
5/6/2013 10:51:53 AM

According to Sara Judson and Christi Miller, co-owners of Training Pathways LLC, each individual is an architect of the corporate culture, no matter their role. "You shape it by how you behave. Every single thing you do serves as building blocks in the habit patterns that make up the personality of the company. In time the culture takes on a life of its own. It gains power and influence. And as the habits grow stronger, the culture begins to shape your behavior more and more,” says Judson, who uses Culture Shift by Price Pritchett, PhD, as a guide. "Culture can be very controlling. But powerful as it might be, the culture cannot change without permission from the people.”

Here’s how:

CORE VALUES – You will see the culture of your organization develop in the direction you desire if you start with a vision, mission and core values. The vision defines where you want to be in the future, the mission is the purpose and drives daily activities and the core values define what is truly important to making the mission and vision come to life. Christi says, "The leader of the organization has the responsibility to role model these values and never compromise them. The visibility and actions of the leader is really key to the success of developing the culture.”

HIRING – Your goal in hiring should be to hire people with beliefs and values that are in alignment with your company’s culture. "The long-term effects of hiring employees who share the same core values as the company will include employee retention, employee engagement and employee satisfaction,” Sara says. These types of employees "own” the culture and want to be a part of the organization’s success.

ACTION PLAN – If you see opportunities for improvement, it’s time to develop an action plan for those areas that are not in alignment with your desired culture. Training Pathways recommends that you review your policies and procedures and update them to include specific behaviors that support your core values, mission and vision. "Involve those employees who exhibit behaviors of ownership. This will help cement the long term effects we spoke of earlier – increasing employee engagement, satisfaction and ultimately retention,” Sara notes. It is key for the owner/leader to communicate the new culture and model the specific behaviors that support this culture.

A clear focus on your vision, mission and core values will help the whole organization develop the culture of ownership for the employees. This leads to positive outcomes throughout the organization.

For more information about how to develop or enhance your organization’s culture, contact Training Pathways at 304-0347 or at www.trainingpathways.com.

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