Your company culture is a set of shared values and goals that unite every employee, regardless of background or department. Company culture is the personality and heartbeat of an organization. It's what sets a company apart from its competitors and ties its employees together. Your culture could also be your biggest liability if it doesn’t enhance your organizational growth. A commitment to cultivate company culture doesn’t just make your company look like a fun place to work; it also makes for a more engaged, productive, and committed employee.
But culture doesn't happen from the ground up; it has to start with leadership. Developing your managers into leaders is one of the most important ways to gain buy-in and trust from employees. One way to do this is to implement a goal-setting strategy that makes sense for your organization. A foundational skill of leadership is helping individuals set and pursue goals through effective collaboration practices that align with corporate strategy. In turn, employees feel fulfilled, organizational goals are reached, and your employees become more collaborative in order to achieve their goals.If you want to improve your #CompanyCulture, you need to focus on #LeadershipDevelopment. Sound strange? Find out why in @InspireSoftware’s latest article. Tweet This!
Consider the benefits of influencing culture through corporate goals:
- The likelihood of turnover at companies with a strong culture is only 13.9%, compared to 48.4% at companies with a weak culture.
- Happy employees are, on average, 12% more productive.
- Companies with high levels of employee engagement are 22% more profitable than companies with low engagement.
Develop Leaders. Enhance Culture. Get Results. Below are four ways leaders shape their culture through organizational goals.
1. Set Clear & Transparent Goals
Your team should know why they are tasked to do what they are doing. Let’s say, for example, you’re asked to dig a hole. You don’t know why, and the labor is mentally and physically demanding. You start to wonder, “Why am I doing this in the first place?” So you begin to look at other work opportunities. Why am I doing this task over something completely different? Now, imagine your manager comes over to inform you that you are digging for a lost civilization that will change history.
The labor stays the same, but the transparency gives you buy-in. A 2015 study on the topic found that employees who understand how their roles and goals contribute to the company’s purpose outperform their colleagues on every measure studied. Purpose-oriented employees find higher levels of fulfillment in their work, are 50% more likely to be in leadership positions and are 47% more likely to speak positively about their organization to those outside the company.
Inspiring your team to rally behind the ‘why’ of their work will make for more committed, passionate employees. Setting goals at the company, team, and individual levels will encourage hard work by giving everyone an objective to rally behind as well as measurable steps to celebrate along the way. There are several goal-setting strategies you can use, including SMART goals and OKRs, to help you become more effective at setting and pursuing more meaningful goals.
It’s important to find a goal-setting method that is aligned with your unique company culture. For example, one way to connect employees to the company is to set SMART goals that always tie back to your company’s unique mission and values. Helping your employees set meaningful goals is the first step; however, knowing the metrics to measure is crucial to the success of the individual, team, and company. A goal-setting method, such as OKRs, sets a clear framework for defining and tracking employee and organization objectives and outcomes in a measurable way.
Be Values & Mission-Driven
When done right, your company culture will set the tone for employee attitudes and work ethic. This starts with crafting core values that articulate the principles under which every employee in the organization is expected to operate. Meaningful core values will guide decision making, clarify identity, and help with recruiting and retention. Written values also create a common language throughout an organization for celebrating successes and for zeroing in on company shortcomings. Once you’ve set your employees’ goals around the company values and mission, employees will begin to hold themselves and their coworkers accountable for living up to them.
Tip: If you’re unsure where to begin, start by focusing on your most valued employees. How do they work? Identify patterns and traits you see in them and put them into words for your entire organization to emulate.
Manage Performance through Meaningful Conversations
It’s no secret—performance reviews do not increase performance. Countless studies have proven their ineffectiveness, and they’re quickly becoming a thing of the past. Feedback, on the other hand, remains critically important, but only when it’s done in an effective and timely manner through frequent and meaningful conversations.
According to a Gallup survey, employees who have had regular performance conversations with their manager in the past six months about their goals and successes are 2.8 times more engaged. But while the frequency of your performance conversations must increase, the content of these ongoing conversations is equally important. These conversations should feel like a coaching session that is both purposeful and individualized to the employee.When done right, your #CompanyCulture will set the tone for employee attitudes and work ethic. Discover the role #leadership has in making this possible from @InspireSoftware.Tweet this!
Create a Culture of Learning & Development
Your company culture should value the growth and development of your employees. This includes leadership development at every level of an organization—not just middle managers. In a recent survey, 84% of organizations said they anticipate a shortfall in leaders over the next five years. And, with more than 10,000 baby boomers retiring or leaving the workforce each day, coaching your current team to be future leaders is more critical than ever.
In a survey conducted by Workplace Trends, only 15% of employees felt the training they received adequately prepared them for their next role in leadership. In other words, basic job training is not enough. Encourage employees to find growth opportunities that interest and challenge them. Recruit seasoned employees to mentor new or younger employees. Eventually, tenured employees who reflect your culture will help new employees understand and manifest the vision and values of the organization. Need a guide? Download our Culture of Excellence whitepaper to help you unlock the power of your people.
Your leadership development program is a critical component of your organization’s culture. Integrating continuous leadership training into your company will strengthen company culture, increase engagement, elevate performance, and help with your succession planning. Inspire Software gives you the ability to shift from a reactive approach to a continuous goal-setting and performance development strategy. Request a demo to find out more!