The two words sit side by side, taunting each other like the ultimate oxymoron. Used to be, we could pretend it. After all, what were the other options? Not a lot.
Unless you wanted to go blue-collar. So we bought:
Then we would crack the nut of culture. We would know our purpose. We would know why we are here. Then we would all be happy.
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Nobody wanted to admit that it was just words and theory.
But not more
With all due respect to culture, the majority of business leaders fell asleep at the wheel. You felt it.
You are losing your sleep.
We now have the proof. As in this letter from all the talented people in your organization – which you really want to keep – telling you that it is too late. The love is gone.
And to make matters worse, they have options galore:
While offering more purpose than the quarry of the cabin could ever dream of.
The golden age of the corporate career is officially over . If you do not act, the effect of training could crush your organization.
Where to begin?
Looking where most of the truth lies. Be honest.
Do most people in your company come in for the paycheck?
Is your office a ghost town at 5:01 pm?
Is your team completely detached from your corporate mission?
If so, Houston – we have a culture problem. As a leader, the prospect of repairing it alone is discouraging at best; impossible at worst.
But before we move to "solution space" (forgive corporate jargon) hold on a minute …
What is culture?
We have already established that most companies do a terrible job of defining it.
Some say that, like a brand, it's what's going on in your business when no one is watching.
Forbes contributor Josh Bershin defines culture as:
"… the set of behaviors, values, artifacts, reward systems and rituals that make up your organization.You can feel the culture when you visit a business because this is often evident in the behavior, enthusiasm, and space of people. "
Again, similar to a brand, if you do not take active steps to define your culture, your employees will define it for you. And it may not be pretty.
Think of it this way.
If I had to shake five randomly chosen employees into your business and ask them why they were working there, how many of them would give a reasonably inspiring answer?
Hmm, yeah. I thought so. It looks like you have your job cut out for you.
But seriously …
Can a leader repair a broken culture?
Some say yes. But the premise is again, an oxymoron.
Culture is a collective creation, not an individual creation. In the words of Brian Chesky of Airbnb culture is a shared way of doing something with passion.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella believes that employees create culture, but with the advice of their leader. For Nadella, making culture a good thing is establishing a balance of power:
"What can a leader do to empower people and at the same time what you can do to empower yourself? I think it's for to attribute more power to others than to ourselves. "
Chesky also speaks of the role of power in the construction of a significant culture:
"We have the power, by living the values, to build the culture, we also have the power, by breaking the values, to screw up the culture, each of us has this opportunity, this burden."
When it comes to building a culture, both leaders warn against putting profits or technology to the fore.
Money and innovations come and go. But your goal should be constant – as a beacon for your people.
Again, look inward.
What is the purpose of your business?
To be clear, your goal does not get a 20% ROI, or a 30% increase in market share.
This is not a key initiative, a strategic plan or even a new sexy project.
Your goal is to express why you exist. It must have an emotional charge. That's why your employees are excited to get up and come to work every day.
And, according to our opening letter of disenchanted employees, this is precisely what most companies miss:
"The thing for which we were not prepared, the thing you did not mention, was the nagging feeling that the work had not really d & # 39; importance."
Ouch. Now about this goal …
The purpose of a business can take any shape and any size. Maybe you exist to raise the technology for the good of all. Or to make the world better. If you're still not sure, think about Disney.
Their famous and memorable goal is to realize their dreams.
Coke exists to put a Coke within the reach of every person on Earth.
Toms exists to provide shoes, eyesight, water, birth prevention services and bullying to people in need.
Why are you here?
Your job as a leader is to discover (or rediscover) this unique gem. Then share it openly and often with your people. Give them a reason, and the space, to get there.
Because, in case you have not yet entered, a scoreless team is a team without passion .
And when that happens, all the goals and actions in the world will not save you.
Ready to brew a goal in your culture? Here are 3 tips.
1. Get Personal
Do not just stick a vision and value poster in the break room. Live them. Remember that as a leader, your daily actions can promote or degrade your goal.
Not to mention the humanity of your workplace.
A good example: a Fortune 500 company in the San Francisco Bay Area has put in place a system. If an employee becomes seriously ill or has suffered a personal tragedy, the CEO is immediately informed.
Within 15 minutes, no matter what happens, the CEO calls that person and offers him help.
Take the time to get to know your people – what makes them tick, and what they are facing – both inside and outside of work.
2. Continue to speak
Again, do not rely on posters or the intranet to do your job.
It is essential that your staff understands and connects to your business goals, including its positive impact on the business, local communities, and the world.
If you are still not convinced, a recent study by Deloitte with nearly 7,700 millennia from 29 countries a revealed that 56% of participants had eliminated employers from their job search because of a disparity in values.
Consider this as your moment of glory to make a difference. Keep telling the story of your business in a way that fits your own values.
Your people are intelligent. They will believe it if it is true.
3. You are here to serve
At work and in life, we are all here to serve someone.
Your customers, of course. But as a leader, focus on serving your team.
Show them how their work contributes to the big picture. Explain how each role has an impact on the larger organization and how each role contributes to the company's goal.
If you have to dive into the grasses a bit here, then that's fine. But if you neglect to continually invest in their sense of purpose, they are left to paw.
Unsure of who they are here to serve. And it's a recipe for a cultural and financial disaster.
I started by saying that the light of love for the way of life of companies is extinct. But whether or not for good, it depends on you.
If you start now, and you work with patience and determination, you could revive some embers.