8 strategies to make corporate culture an everyone’s business

Coach Leaders to Connect the Dots
Guide business leaders in how to connect the dots between the impact of culture on business performance and strategy. By connecting the dots they will be able to create a stronger case (for themselves and others) that culture is the means to deliver results. Make sure they understand the impact of bad and good culture (which begins by defining what culture is).

Leverage on Data
Bring data to the table and connect corporate culture data points with business performance and strategy. For example, proxy indicators of good culture include trust, employee engagement and satisfaction, opportunities for development and growth, among others. Collect and connect these data points with turnover and performance to strengthen the case that teams that care for culture do better than those that don’t.

Reinforce the Power of Role Modeling
Make sure business leaders and direct managers understand the power and the implications of both positive and negative role modeling. The culture they want to see their organization and people to embrace begins with them. If they want to foster transparency but are shady in their decision-making, then transparency won’t happen.

Decentralize Culture Initiatives
Have a clear why from the top. Coach your business leaders to promote a strong and inspiring vision for the organization including some pillars of corporate culture. Then, allow teams to create their own cultural initiatives or traditions that align with the broader company values. Doing so provides freedom, flexibility and autonomy for each team to determine how their own unique identity aligns with the overall vision of culture for the organization.

Empower the Middle
Direct managers are in the final realization and embodiment of the corporate culture vision for the organization. They can literally make or break culture with their words, behaviors and actions (or inactions). Direct managers are the bridge between top leadership and everyone else. Make sure that direct managers are equipped with the right tools to understand and advocate for great culture. More importantly, make sure they are fully onboard with becoming champions of great culture in the organization.

Listen to Employees
Promote psychological safety and encourage employees to voice their perspectives on the culture of the organization. You can use anonymous platforms to gather candid insights or create safe and open spaces for honest and transparent conversations. By valuing and acting on this feedback, the organization underscores the collective responsibility everyone holds in shaping the culture.

Celebrate Milestones
Building a great culture is not rocket science, but it isn’t piece of cake either. In fact, turning culture an everyone’s business can be hard, and frustrating at times. That’s why it’s important to recognize and celebrate moments when teams or individuals exemplify the features of the great culture you are trying to build. In particular, it is essential to celebrate leaders and managers taking ownership on all corporate culture things. Celebrating these kinds of milestones fosters a sense of pride and motivation, signaling that the organization truly values its cultural pillars and those who uphold them.

Iterate and Adapt
Culture isn’t static. Yesterday’s culture may not be right for today’s challenges and today’s culture may not adapt to tomorrow’s demands. Culture evolves with time, challenges, and achievements. It doesn’t mean that all things culture have to change every year, but that it is necessary to regularly review and recalibrate your cultural strategies in response to changes within and outside the organization. Encourage leaders to see culture not as a fixed objective but as an ongoing journey. Stay open to feedback, be ready to make course corrections, and most importantly, communicate these shifts effectively. Emphasize that as the business world changes, so must the culture – ensuring it remains relevant, resonant, and supportive of both the company’s mission and its people.

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