Every company has a culture, whether they like or not. It’s an undercurrent, sometimes silent, sometimes outspoken.” (Tom Foster management blog)

Culture is the #1 factor that influences employee attitudes, actions and results and cannot easily be overcome by standard “motivational” tools (pay, incentives, performance reviews).

This post is an excerpt from a report of the 2012 Human Resource Roundtable was held at the Harvard Club in New York City.

How many of you have worked in more than one organization? How many of you have noticed different attitudes, habits and ways of doing things? Did that cause different values and behaviors to show up? Culture is the unwritten ground rules. Everyone in an organization leads culture.” Senn Delaney, consultant.

What is culture?

  • Culture is creating a sense of who you are as an organization and representing that culture in everything that is done in the organization.
  • Culture is the history of the organization that defines how things get done.
  • Culture is the attitudes, belief sets, values, written ground rules, and unwritten ground rules that set the tone of the organization.

Why does culture matter?

  • A healthy, high-performance culture impacts financial performance and increases employee engagement (often twice that of low performing cultures).
  • Companies with a strong and aligned culture perform better financially, are more resilient and last longer.
  • Culture is a top concern for CEOs (fourth on a list of “top risk concerns”) and should be a critical part of a CEO’s strategic focus and business model.

How to change your culture (short list)

  • Get consensus on organization direction and goals
  • Build and communication the business case for the change and goals
  • Communicate the required beliefs, values and activities (Culture) to support the goals
  • Recognize and reward those employees that become committed and engaged with the direction (behaviors that support the Culture)

The leader is a critical part of change; they either enable or create the culture.” — Craig Ivey, president, Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc.

Read our related Blog post— Are your employees aligned to achieve organization’s goals? Some signs this is lacking….

People Plan Culture Model

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net