Bringing a critical culture back to life should be a company’s number one priority. Unfortunately, it usually takes a significant event (like bankruptcy) to cause a company to rethink (or god forbid, think about in the first place) their company culture. But please don’t wait. A bad company culture has the ability to damage your entire business from the inside out, and when that happens there is no return.
Whether it’s just a little bit dead, like maybe there are some things that need tweaking. Or if it’s 6 feet under with a twelve-story apartment block built over the top of it, and is in need of an entire overhaul––either is a good time to resurrect. Don’t accept anything less than a thriving culture.
Contrary to a bad one bringing death, a good corporate culture is the bloodline of a good company, which, when working well, has the promise of increased growth and revenue. Lucky for all of us turning it around is possible. Let’s have a look at a few simple steps to bringing it back.
How to resurrect your company culture…
Think of your company as a sporting team. You can’t coach a team that don’t all want the same thing. Isn’t wanting to win enough to guide a team over the line to being a champion team? No, it’s the shared values––the culture.
Just like a sporting team, a company needs the culture to be clear and defined and for everyone to be on the same page before they can even think about hitting the field as a united force.
A sports club has team colours, a uniform, a song. A company needs similar. A company culture is built by everyone, but they need something to guide them. When you can define your company values, then you will be recruiting with those values in mind. You will be coaching with those values in mind. And every part of your team will have those values driving every decision. And this is where the culture comes from.
2. Create & coach.
Once you’ve defined what your values are as a company, create guidelines. Create structure. Create failsafe ways that your team can follow along.
Champions don’t win games alone, neither do teams. A champion, or a great team wins because they’ve been coached well. When a champion, alone or in a team makes a winning move its from months, sometimes years of training by a coach to react in certain ways to certain things. Those values of the coach become so innate to champion––and, in a team––to the players that they are able to react without thinking, and its that reaction speed and common direction that scores the goals. Create those structures, game plays and let your team learn them in and out.
Just as you have taken the time to rejig your culture, you also need to take time to figure out if it’s actually a fit for your company. Go through your values checklist and refine anything that is not translating very well. It’s no point having a set of values if nobody in the company understands the bloody things.
4.Connect (culture with accountability)
A disengaged employee is often where the toxic culture starts. One or two employees that aren’t feeling heard or supported stir things up to flex some sort of voice. It can be a disaster and this sort of toxicity spreads like wildfire. The lesson in this is if you are going to the trouble of redefining and restructuring your company culture, make sure that your entire staff feels connected to the new values. Communication is key. Get it talked about. Create documents and activities that are ingrained in the company culture. Then connect the culture with accountability.
If any employee steps outside of those company values they need to be reprimanded, and again, the reason for the reprimand needs to be communicated as well as the values themselves.
Align everything within the company to the company values. Let everything be guided by these.
- Structure communication and goals around these values.
- Structure company coaching and leadership strategies around them.
- Structure recruitment and policies around them.
5. Give it time.
It will take time to change. Give it time and stick to your guns. Your company needs this. Let it happen.