The Importance of a Strong Company Culture”
- Identify at least three (3) elements of a strong company culture of trust and integrity.
- Explain why each of these elements is important, and provide an example of each that was not used in either video.
- Write a minimum of 300 words for your initial response
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Jeff: How important is company culture? Dave: Oh, that’s a great question. Company culture is something really near and dear to my heart. In fact, one person who endorsed my book Invaluable is Tony Hsieh of Zappos, and Tony, in my opinion, right now is the master of corporate culture. It is huge. Corporate culture is honestly more important than most anythingyou can do. It is even really more important than just systems by themselves because itdictates how the employees are going to perform.
In fact, I think lynda.com is a great example of good corporate culture. There is a very strong vibe in this business and that was created by a very strong leader, and the businesses that I have seen are most successful are made by leaders who put culture as one of the things that they want to create, and they craft it or they work with their employees to craft that culture. I once asked Tony, Tony Hsieh of Zappos, what would you say to businesses who believe that they need to spend all of this money on brand to develop their brand and brand loyalty? And he said something that was really interesting; he said I would tell them that brand is a lagging indicator of company culture
While we’ve been focusing in this course on how to be a successful leader, it is also the role of leaders to build and maintain a great culture in the organization. An organization’s culture becomes the diving force that shapes the attitudes and behaviors of everyone in the organization. And it’s the most effective way to improve productivity, engagement, and other key measures of success. A leader’s efforts are most effective when they can spend or focus and energy on creating the culture, because they can create more widespread change than working with one department at a time.
When you have a great culture, you can retain your best people, and you attract other top talent who want to work there. Productivity soars, because people are motivated and engaged. Employees are loyal and take great pride in the organization and the work they do, thus driving innovation and effort. The term great is somewhat subjective. What is great in a fast-growing tech company with a high percentage of young employees, may be different from what is great for a national nonprofit that fights for social justice, or a long-standingfinancial institution. Each industry region and organization has its own vibe, and people usually seek out the culture that matches their needs.
But research has shown we can measure how people feel about where they work. Studies done on thousands of organizations in a wide range of industries, shows us that great cultures have four key factors in common. Number one, there is a high level of trust between employees and management. Number two, people have pride in what they do, either their specific task or the meaningful purpose that the organization serves. Number three, they genuinely like and enjoy their colleagues. And number four, everyone is encouraged to learn and develop, individually and collectively. Certainly, a leader who practices the leadership skills I’ve outlined in this course will contribute to a great culture, but this effect could be limited to just that leader’s team or department.
To truly create a great culture these ideas and practices must come from the top and be infused into every aspect of the organization. Including its values, hiring practices, performance measurement system, training and development opportunities, policies and procedures. That is why creating a great culture comes from the collaboration of all the leaders in the organization, especially those at the top. If you want to drive the creation of great culture in your organization, I suggest the following strategies. First, partner with other effective leaders to move this important agenda forward.
Second, do research on the benefits of having a great culture. Third, present the impressive data, showing the return on investment. Fourth, partner with influential people to create advocacy for this initiative. Fifth, create ample opportunities for learning and development.And sixth, check out the efforts of greatplacetowork.com. If you watch the news, you will see that culture is a key factor used to analyze an organization’s effectiveness. With your help, your organization can also reap the benefits of a great culture.