Culture eats strategy for breakfast. An often misunderstood saying that gets thrown around freely in the startup world. Truth be told, culture does indeed eat strategy for breakfast when an organization’s strategy is clearly defined and its culture thrives.
Most problems and challenges around culture can be anticipated, the simple technique of thinking backward from the desired future will help you. For example, how do you know you have a thriving company culture? What are the signs?
The answer to this question is your desired future; the answer will be different for you and other organizations. But, there are some common factors that describe a thriving company culture.
8 signs that indicate a thriving company culture
To me, a thriving company culture promotes employee engagement, productivity, and satisfaction. Several signs can indicate whether a company culture is thriving or not. Here are some of the most common signs of a thriving company culture:
- High levels of employee engagement. Employees who are engaged with their work are more likely to be productive and satisfied. A thriving company culture will promote employee engagement by providing opportunities for growth, recognition, and autonomy. Another way to look at this is by asking yourself the following question: are employees thriving?
- Low employee turnover. A thriving company culture will help to retain employees and reduce turnover rates. When employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to stay with a company for the long term.
- Strong teamwork and collaboration. A thriving company culture will encourage teamwork and collaboration among employees. When employees work together effectively, they can achieve more and feel more connected to their work.
- Open communication and feedback. A thriving company culture will foster open communication and feedback between employees and management. When employees feel heard and valued, they are more likely to be engaged and productive.
- Positive relationships between employees and management. A thriving company culture will promote positive relationships between employees and management. When employees feel respected and supported by their managers, they are more likely to be satisfied and productive.
- Focus on employee well-being. A thriving company culture will prioritize employee well-being, including physical, mental, and emotional health. When employees feel supported in all aspects of their lives, they are more likely to be engaged and productive.
- Commitment to diversity and inclusion. A thriving company culture will prioritize diversity and inclusion by creating an environment where all employees feel welcomed and valued. When employees feel included and supported, they are more likely to be engaged and productive.
- High level of accountability: While powerful, accountability starts at the top. If a business is enforcing a certain level of expectation, it should apply to everyone and leaders should set an example by owning their mistakes and taking responsibility for their actions. More on this point in the next section.
Culture is built daily, people feel a sense of ownership, a standard of excellence is present, and people are accountable to the team in a thriving company culture.
Three Threats to a thriving company culture
With all of the above said, what are the threats to a thriving company culture? What would you have to do to bring it all crashing down? Poor communication, toxic behaviors that create a negative work environment, and not developing people; it starts with leadership.
The three threats to a thriving company culture are:
- Leaders who don’t define the standard;
- Leaders who define but don’t live by the standard;
- Leaders who don’t hold others accountable to the standard.
Set the standard you expect.
Remember, a leader’s most important job is to create an environment where people thrive. Those that don’t take this to heart, create a culture of blame and indifference which affects the customer experience and the bottom line of the business.
Bottom line: A thriving company culture is one where employees feel valued, supported, and connected to their work. By focusing on the signs of a thriving company culture, companies can create an environment where employees can thrive and achieve their full potential.