Company Culture can't be changed overnight
August 29, 2022
8 min read
If you've heard anything about company culture, you'll know that it's the kind of thing that matters a lot— and something that takes a long time to change. The key is to remember that organizational culture isn't a checklist; it's not enough to just make sure your team is having fun and going out on Friday nights. Adding perks like free snacks and nap rooms can certainly help, but as a leader your job is to make sure everyone in your organization understands how their work connects back to the mission of your company. You also need to be aware of what people already believe about their company (whether or not it's true) and then follow through on those beliefs. This might sound difficult at first, but with some forethought and effort, setting up an amazing company culture will be well worth the effort.
Culture is all about people.
Your company culture reflects how you solve problems, how you communicate and more. As a leader, it’s important to understand that a new idea can only be effective if your team believes in it and understands why they should support it. This is also true for any company trying to change its culture (and as we will discuss later on in this post).
Culture is a reflection of how your company solves problems.
It's not just about the office parties and free snacks, though those are important. Culture is also about how your company treats its employees and customers, what values you hold dear, and most importantly—how you think. Your culture is reflected in the decisions that are made within your business. How do you evaluate new ideas? What kinds of questions do you ask when vetting an idea or proposal? Is there any sort of process in place to ensure that everyone understands what's going on in their respective roles?
Purpose and mission create the foundation of culture.
At the core of every company's culture is its purpose, mission, values and vision. The purpose of your company is what you do and why it matters. The mission is how you do it and why it matters. The values are what guide you in making decisions about how to carry out the mission. A vision describes where you want to go with your business over a longer period of time—it could be five years or 10 years or 20 years down the road (or even further).
The best way to create a strong culture within your organization is by creating a strong sense of identity through these four areas: Purpose/Mission Statement; Values; Vision/Strategic Plan; Core Competencies
Expectations should be clear, especially to new hires.
Leadership's role in culture should be more than contributing to slogans.
Leadership, as in the people at the top who are making strategic decisions and setting direction, should be active participants in culture. Leadership should be a part of culture; it's not just a slogan on an employee badge or a company mission statement. If leadership wants to change culture, they have to be willing to invest time and energy into improving it. This can be difficult because there's often pressure from investors or stakeholders to generate returns quickly instead of focusing on long-term goals like building up trust within an organization or creating systems that encourage collaboration across departments or divisions.
While management may ask employees "How can we improve our culture?", they often aren't ready for the answers they get back from employees who say things like "We need better communication between teams," "We need more transparency about organizational goals," or "Our rewards system needs updating." When this happens, leadership will likely respond by telling employees that it's not possible for them (the leaders) to do anything about these issues because they're too busy working on other things— like finding new ways of generating revenue! But if this is what leaders want out of their companies' cultures then they must lower their own workloads so as not impede progress toward improving those areas
Leadership and management should both be active parts of culture.
Leadership and management are both important components of culture. Your company's leadership should be setting the vision and direction, while your management team should be implementing this vision. In addition to setting expectations and managing performance, leaders should also communicate the vision to their teams.
Management is responsible for determining how a company achieves its goals by creating processes to support those goals. For example, if you want a product that works well with other products in your company's portfolio, you might have a process in place that ensures all employees understand what makes one product better than another so they can make informed decisions about which products will work best together when developing new features or fixing bugs.
Emphasize regular communication between people at all levels.
The second phenomenon can be explained as follows: people’s perception of culture is strongly influenced by how they communicate with the rest of their team, and the team in general. If you’re new to a company and want to understand its culture, talk to people at all levels and in different departments. You will quickly get an idea of how things work there, and whether you like it or not!
If you want to build company culture from scratch (or change an existing one), then regular communication between people at all levels is key. The most effective way of doing this is having regular meetings where everyone communicates openly about what works for them and what doesn't—it's also important that everyone has an opportunity to share their opinion about issues related to building a strong organizational structure for example).
Setting up a good organizational culture isn't something you can change over night, but it's well worth the effort.
Culture is all about people, so a company's culture will reflect the way their employees solve problems. Purpose and mission are critical in creating a strong foundation for culture. What does your organization exist to do? Who is your audience? What value do you provide them? Why do they need it? How can you help them achieve their goals?
The answers to these questions create an understanding of who you are, what makes you different from others in your field, and what sets your company apart from others who may be similar but not quite like yours. With this knowledge as a foundation, expectations should be clear—both internally and externally— so members of any given team know exactly what is expected of them at every level of leadership within the organization. Leadership's role should be more than contributing slogans that feel good but don't really mean anything (and certainly more than just creating posters). Leaders should help set direction for their teams by setting standards for how everyone works together so everyone knows what “the way we do things around here” means!
We like to think that we have a pretty good culture going here at the Hive, and it hasn't been easy. But we have never regretted the time and effort we put into making it happen. It's a process, but if you take the right steps your company will be better for it in the long run!
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