Company culture is a term used often among management teams. This aspect of building your business is critical to get right. When you’re able to create a strong, positive culture, your team will be happier, more productive and more likely to stay at your company long term. On the other hand, a toxic company culture can have a devastating impact on your business, tanking productivity and resulting in high levels of employee turnover.
In a recent post, our CEO and founder, John Vachalek, outlined the fundamental building blocks necessary to create a strong culture that will position your business for greater success. But creating a strong culture is only part of the equation. It’s also important to ensure your entire team is aligned with your culture.
Developing cultural alignment takes time and hard work, but it will pay huge dividends to your business. When your entire team is aligned with your culture, values and mission, you’ll experience greater buy-in from your employees and be able to elevate the success of your organization.
Why Is Cultural Alignment Important?
Your company culture defines the values, practices and expectations that guide your business. It establishes the attitudes and behaviors that are adopted by your team. When your company culture aligns with the personal values of your team, and when your team is fully aligned on the norms established as part of your culture, it can have a powerful impact on your business. When all your employees are aligned on a shared purpose and devoting all their energy towards this purpose, it significantly elevates your company’s ability to thrive.
Unfortunately, very few businesses are able to achieve this cultural alignment. According to a study by Gartner, only 24% of employees believe their company culture impacts their work. In addition, only 31% of company leaders feel that their organization’s culture positively impacts business performance.
The reason these numbers are so low has to do with a lack of cultural alignment in most companies. The same Gartner study found that when a company’s employees are aligned with the culture, it has a significant impact on business success, including:
- 9% improvement in performance against revenue goals
- 22% improvement in employee performance
- 16% better reputation outcomes
The reason for this is simple. When your employees are aligned with your culture, it creates a common understanding of what your business is trying to achieve, and everyone becomes focused on finding the best ways to achieve this purpose.
How to Create Cultural Alignment Among Your Team
You can invest a great deal of time and energy into creating an amazing culture at your company, but that doesn’t guarantee your team will be aligned with these attitudes and beliefs. Achieving this level of cultural alignment requires additional steps. While this involves a lot of effort, the benefits will be well worth it for your business, as it will set you up for long term success.
Recognize the Desired Behaviors You Want Your Team to Exhibit
Praise and recognition are powerful motivators. Not only does it provide the individual being recognized with an incentive to replicate this behavior in the future, but it shows other team members the types of actions which are valued and will bring them similar recognition. In fact, 92% of employees indicate they’re more likely to repeat an action after they’ve been recognized for it. Therefore, showing praise for behaviors that are aligned with your company culture is a powerful way to ensure those behaviors continue.
In order for this recognition to impact your culture, it must become embedded into the way your business operates. Showing appreciation for actions and behaviors that align with the company culture should occur on a regular basis. To make sure this happens, build it into the weekly work rhythm for your managers and team members.
Make Sure Your Management Team Lives Your Company Values
Your company values are a key component of your culture. They serve as the guiding principles and beliefs that every team member should possess. These values should shape just about every action associated with your business – from long range strategic planning to day-to-day items such as how your team interacts with your customers.
When you have a strong set of company values, it will be easy for your team to get behind them. However, it’s important for your team to see that these values are authentic to your management team. Otherwise, they will be dismissed as lip service. Therefore, it’s critical that your management team live these values every day and establish them as part of your culture in a top-down way.
Establish a Culture of Trust and Safety
Trust and safety are core tenets of any strong company culture. If your team doesn’t trust you to treat them fairly and provide a safe space for them to be themselves, it’s virtually impossible to achieve true cultural alignment. It’s critical that your team knows they are able to express their opinions freely without fear of punishment or other repercussions. Your management team must do more than pay lip service to this philosophy – they must live it every day and demonstrate by their actions that your business truly provides a safe environment for your team.
Make Cultural Fit Part of Your Hiring Criteria
You’ll never be able to achieve cultural alignment if you don’t hire employees who share your company’s values. In order to ensure you’re hiring people who will buy into your culture, you must invest time during the interview process to determine each candidate’s cultural fit. This is just as important as making sure they possess the proper skill set to be successful at the position.
In addition to prioritizing cultural fit during the hiring process, you must then reinforce this during the onboarding process. New employees should be learning about your core values and company culture throughout the onboarding period, and this information should be connected to their role in a meaningful way. When this occurs, you’re much more likely to have new employees internalize your culture and values, and this will improve overall alignment throughout your team.
Webolutions Can Help You Create Better Cultural Alignment
Webolutions is a full-spectrum management consulting and strategic growth implementation agency. For almost three decades, we’ve worked with hundreds of businesses across a wide range of industries to help them create better cultural alignment throughout their company.
We’ll work closely with your company’s leaders to help you define your company vision, purpose and core values. As part of this process, we’ll provide you with a framework for how to integrate this into your day-to-day actions in order to cultivate a strong culture that your team can get behind. We’ll also provide strategies and coaching to help you improve cultural alignment across your entire team, allowing your business the thrive.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Webolutions serves clients nationwide from our offices in Denver, Colorado.