This has been a difficult and frustrating eight months for many individuals and most companies. Global economic data appears to be weakening, and hoped for growth, stalling in the improvement for jobs. Add to this a deepening Euro-zone crisis, a cracker-jack scandal with LIBOR, several well-known financial institutions demonstrating a lack of values and leadership character, and it is not surprising that times like this can shake your faith in core values.
In this unsettling, rapidly changing, and highly frustrating environment, an organization’s culture has never been more important. Culture, like brand, is often discounted and misunderstood as a touchy – feely component of business that belongs to HR. It’s not intangible or fluffy. It’s not an office decor or a vibe. It’s one of the most important and critical drivers for an organization’s success that has to be set or adjusted in order to push long term and sustainable success. In today’s challenging environment, it is not good enough just to have an amazing product and a healthy bank balance. Long term success is dependent upon a culture that is nurtured and lives. Culture is the environment in which your business strategy and your brands thrive or die a slow death.
A team’s culture is always a relevant concern for the organization itself, as well as for the outside client world. No team can thrive without a strong sense of cooperativeness. Your financial success is directly related to the culture of trust each of you has helped build and sustained over this past year. Teams that trust each other perform better. An expectation of cooperativeness allows a group to focus and economize on resources that would otherwise have to be devoted to following up and checking on the quality of “delivery and execution.” When agreements are kept, expectations are met, and plain dealing adhered to as a matter of course, there is less time wasted on making sure actions are being done appropriately and in a timely fashion.
Integrity, honesty, and genuinely caring about each other are the cornerstones for developing trust. Trust is the cornerstone for successful cultures. Culture cannot be manufactured. It has to be genuinely nurtured by everyone, from the CEO down. If there’s any doubt about the value of investing time in culture, here are the significant benefits that come from a vibrant and living culture:
- Motivation: builds higher employee motivation and loyalty.
- Focus: aligns the entire company towards achieving its vision, mission and goals.
- Spirit: shapes employee behavior at work enabling your organization to be more efficient and effective.
- Connection: helps build team cohesiveness among your company’s various departments and groups.
- Cohesion: builds consistency, encouraging coordination and seamlessness within your company as you deliver successful ideas, services or products to your clients.
It is important for each of you and your team to keep in the forefront of your awareness, the values and supporting behaviors upon which you want to build and ensure a culture creating a highly successful team.