Have you ever attend an interview where the Manager & HR rep have waxed lyrical about what a great place it is to work? How they are really just like a big family and believe in having a laugh at work, how they have great benefits and are an employer of choice, how they love to invest in their employees’ career through training & career progression opportunities. Everything is going great, essentially you’re buying what they’re selling and then it happens. You walk through the office to leave and you notice that everyone looks miserable, you might hear an employee speaking rudely to another, you’re introduced to a team member and they give you that knowing smirk that can only be interpreted as good luck sucker. Or maybe you notice it on day 1 or after week 1; there’s a major disconnect from the picture painted at interview of the job / working environment / organisational values and the reality, the workplace culture is shocking and you’ve just made a terrible mistake.
Broken down to it’s most simplest form, workplace culture is the sum of the messages & behaviours exhibited by management, and the messages and behaviours exhibited by employees, if you aren’t all on the same track & heading to the same destination then at some point the wheels are going to fall off. (And thats enough car analogies from me)
So as a business manager or owner what can you do to ensure that you are crafting the culture you want & need for business success?
Organisational culture is accepted behaviour, not expected behaviour
Make sure you have the right people in leadership positions – Your leadership team can make or break your organisation, nothing destroys culture (and subsequently productivity, attendance & attitude) like weak leaders or those that exhibit poor communication or interpersonal skills.
Know where you are headed & who you need to get there – Look at what behaviours you have in your organisation, to achieve your operational goals what behaviours would you like to encourage to get you there? Implement initiatives that co-exist with your strategic plan and core values to build the workforce demographic that best suits your needs.
Let your culture feed into performance management – Think that performance management is all about the dreaded annual review where you focus on tasks, outputs and KPI’s? Think again, an effective performance management process should be designed to provide feedback not only on performance but on behaviours and how they align with your desired workplace culture.
Use culture in the job design & recruitment process – The focus should be on values based recruitment; having the right people, in the right place, at the right time. When writing job descriptions include cultural and values based behavioural indicators to ensure your expectations are made clear from the get – go.
Have a name for treating employees fairly – This is pretty self explanatory as far as reputation & risk minimisation goes but this philosophy can see enhanced attitudes & buy-in towards safety, community values and ethical behaviour.
It’s time for HR to move beyond policies, practices and processes. The People & Culture Office can partner with you to gain a competitive advantage through people & culture initiatives Contact Us to arrange an appointment to discus what solutions we can put in place to drive achievement of your strategic goals.
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