July 20, 2018

Organizational culture profoundly impacts business success. It starts internally and is directly seen by the results a company produces.

An organization’s culture is an all-encompassing, #1 precursor for its attaining of business success. Since it’s typically implied and often hard to directly measure, it remains a pivotal focus of company leaders to continually spearhead a positive evolution of the embedded culture.

Culture is a broad term used to describe an average of the numerous different perceptions and behaviours withheld by the employees in a company. It takes time to measure and is most dominantly seen by the sum of actions that are taken over time.

This blog post will touch on the need for a well-developed culture, its fundamental building blocks, and unforeseen outcomes that aid in producing extraordinary long-term results. As a leader, if you succeed in setting a great culture as the foundation, all else desired in business will come easily in response.

Collaborative Culture

Cultivating an organization that thrives on principles of collaboration sets a solid foundation for the continual performance of effective teams. This is because individuals throughout are rooted in accountability to themselves, their teams, and ultimately the company. There is a strong sense and willingness between employees to deliver on breakthrough ideas and produce effective outcomes within their teams.

As collaboration is embedded within an organization, the overall performance is significantly uplifted for several key reasons. Primarily, as individuals are deeply committed to working together, people endlessly express their own ideas, which are then collectively analyzed and filtered out to reveal what’s best for the company. This is achieved with active discussion and an unwavering commitment to others. To further support this, diversity in knowledge and experience amongst employees and high levels of openness that restrict biases and preconceived notions are essential.

Additional benefits to a collaborative culture include vast improvements in interpersonal relations and long-term alignment on the company vision. As collaboration requires open communication, different segments and position levels are clear on the intent of their peers and understand the need to express their own in order to sustain the culture and best achieve identified company goals.

Building Blocks

Motivational psychology outlines two distinct paths to bringing out desired behaviours from employees; intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Intrinsic motivators take longer to develop but are higher in their long-term effectiveness. Extrinsic motivators are quick and easy to provide but stay periodically effective as they often lose value over time.

Extrinsic motivators include financial and non-financial benefits an employee is provided for working in a company. These motivators are important as they present clear incentives to first attracting great employees and then retaining them throughout.

Financial benefits can be set with high and reasonable salaries along with bonus reward systems to accolade extraordinary performance. Non-financial benefits include vacation time, health benefits, fitness memberships, and smaller incentives such as free coffee and breakfast items in the workplace. Having these are particularly important when attracting millennials, who highly value flexible working hours and maintaining a high degree of health and wellness.

Intrinsic motivators relates to setting an environment that aligns with the core values and self-identified purposes of individuals within the organization. Core values can be measured with data tools that collect averages on different demographic groupings, position segments, and broadly with the entire company. Through having accurate and feasible data, leaders can begin creating the ultimate company environment meant for their employees.

Additional ways of tapping into intrinsic motivators include making sure employees understand they have authority over their work (empowerment is key) and that it is meaningful to the success of the organization. Moreover, individuals must be given regular constructive feedback in order to self-actualize and directly show them you are committed to their personal growth.

Breakthrough Culture

A well-developed breakthrough-level culture that is capable of disruption will launch the company to unforeseen heights by opening new markets of profit and widely expanding its customer base. It is only with breakthrough innovation that an organization propels to success and when examining some of the top companies in the world, ie. Facebook, Google, Amazon- all have phenomenal culture that is aligned on one company mission.

To break through and disrupt markets should be the sole purpose of any organization and as seen time and time again, it always begins by cultivating a foundation of purpose-driven employees and promoting excellent company culture. Business leaders alike marvel at organizations that are aligned on all levels and are committed to innovation as it is culture, because it is culture, and culture alone that sustains a company in making extraordinary impacts on people throughout the world.

Two leaders in the realm of forming great corporate culture; Randi Zuckerberg- former Director of Market Development for Facebook and Christine Nielsen- Founder and CEO of Contrast Consulting

Anthony Marcovecchio

Anthony Marcovecchio

Strategy Intern

Student at Wilfrid Laurier University

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