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Great company culture works for everyone or not at all. It works because it places people at its heart, looking to deliver great service, great solutions and great outcomes
Do you really understand what it is to have a strong company culture and great employee engagement? You may well have been on the courses, read the literature, analysed the statistics. As a result you may feel that on an intellectual level you understand what organisational culture is and the importance of employee engagement but do you really deep down in your bones feel that you know what a great culture can deliver?
It’s hard isn’t it! A bit like catching glimpses of far-off mountaintops on a misty day; you know that it is there and you know that you can journey towards it but at the moment it is frustratingly out of sight. Because the thing about culture is that you can’t impose it, you can’t issue a series of diktats instructing people that in the future they will think like this and behave like that. You can shape and you can guide, you can engage your people and you can lead by example but you can’t impose.
So if you natural inclination lies in producing figures, writing reports or designing systems then guiding the development of a strong culture may not come naturally to you but that doesn’t mean that it is beyond your grasp. The simple truth is that what sits at the heart of a great culture is people; in particular, people who care about other people.
The culture challenge for banks over the last few years has been to build a culture of doing it right, one which puts ethics and people outcomes ahead of profit. If you’re looking to build a culture of innovation, you are doing so in order to deliver solutions which resonate with customer needs. Great places to work gain that accolade because they deliver something special at employee level; and businesses with high customer satisfaction levels are those with a culture which cares about customer outcomes.
And this is one of the secrets about great company cultures. They don’t just deliver profits for the business and good returns for the investors. Great cultures also attract suppliers who want to do business with them, engaged employees who want to do the best by them and satisfied customers who are proud to be associated with them.
Think this is an idealised but impossible scenario? Tell that to the organisation which following a networking event received a thank you note in which the writer commented that not only were the staff obviously proud to work for the company, clients at the event were also obviously proud to be associated with the business.
Great company culture works for everyone or not at all. It works because it places people at its heart, looking to deliver great service, great solutions and great outcomes. So the next time you get bogged down in wondering why your culture isn’t working as you expected perhaps it might be time to stop and spend a little time in thinking what you can do to improve people outcomes.