Pssst, It’s Your Culture! New Ways to Improve Company Culture

You want a great company? Let me tell you a secret…Start with your culture!


Editor’s note this is part one of a two part series. 

As a consultant and as someone who hangs out with people everyday in various fields, I have to tell you, some people just don’t get it. Especially the people at the top, the ones who can actually make the difference in their companies.

You want a great company?

Let me tell you a secret…Start with your culture!

More than once, I’ve been called in to help an organization “fix” things in their business. I get the “these workers are lazy,” “the turnover here is horrible, we are a great family business, why is this happening,” and “I spend so much money hiring top talent and they leave before a year is up.”

Well, I’ve found that most times the problem is the culture. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of articles and books on Organizational Culture. So what exactly is culture? According to Frances Frei and Anne Morris at Harvard Business Review:

Culture guides discretionary behavior and it picks up where the employee handbook leaves off. Culture tells us how to respond to an unprecedented service request. It tells us whether to risk telling our bosses about our new ideas, and whether to surface or hide problems. Employees make hundreds of decisions on their own every day, and culture is our guide. Culture tells us what to do when the CEO isn’t in the room, which is of course most of the time.”

It’s important because so many have yet to get it through their heads that it’s the culture! A CEO, Founder, Director, whatever leadership role you have can spend thousands of dollars on many things but if culture is not communicated, addressed, evaluated and rewarded, the problems will continue.

The real problem could be you.

Here are the real problems at the core:

  • You don’t want to look at yourself.
  • You don’t want to check yourself.
  • You don’t want to have to change yourself.
  • You want others to always be the problem but can never entertain that you could be the problem.

If your business matters to you, culture should matter to you.

Not the lip service “I care” but the “ I will do whatever is necessary to bring self-awareness to my life” so that what you say and do enhances how people feel working for you and your company.

So maybe you are grasping the importance of having a strong company culture, but even with the desire to build one, it’s not always obvious what steps to take. There are five steps you can take today to improve company culture, both in the short and long term.

In part two we’ll cover the Five Steps to Improve Your Company Culture and key takeaways.

Next- Three articles covering company culture