Employer branding has made the cut on the list of strategic business priorities for many…
From engagement to customer satisfaction, there’s a huge amount of research into the incredible impact of organisational culture.
Research all points to the same thing: get your culture right, and growth follows.
We believe culture is the ecosystem of tangible and intangible customs, cues and codes of an organisation. It’s ‘how we do things around here, and what it feels like’. You can see it in the way people behave, how they communicate and what they believe. You can also find it in the physical environment: the IT infrastructure, the HR processes, the day-to-day working practices and even the posters on the walls.
In recent years, we’ve seen a surge in clients wanting to shift their workplace culture. And it’s not surprising when, no matter which industry news you read, the power of culture has been making headlines:
“66% of executives believe culture is more important than an organization’s business strategy or operation model.”
“Those companies who have strong cultures experience an increase in revenue growth that is four times greater than those who don’t.” [Forbes]
“The top concern for exec leaders is preserving their company culture in a post-pandemic world” [Deloitte]
One thing’s clear: actively cultivating the right culture for your company takes pro-active planning, energy and commitment starting with the leadership. Here are five things you need to do to shift your culture in the direction for performance and growth.
- Ask one essential question.
Firstly, you need clarity. Ask yourself and your c-suite – one question: Is the culture we have, the culture we need to meet the goals of our business?
- Embrace intentional culture as the new norm.
Left to its own devices, your company culture would naturally evolve: new leaders come in, products change, you expand into a new country – every change brings a culture shift. Years ago, company cultures were almost left to chance; now they’re intentionally curated, with strategies, teams and a focus on the long term.
- Empower leaders to be advocates.
C-suites in every industry are joining the dots between culture and success, with 67% of leaders agreeing it’s an important topic on the agenda.
But do your leaders understand the huge role they play? According to Quantum Workplace, 83% of employees say leaders shape their company culture. And that shaping requires effort: role modelling, management and consistency.
- Choose authenticity and consistency.
We know that company culture impacts the service received by customers – and you can’t fake it. Marie Gulin-Merle, formerly of Calvin Klein has been quoted by Spencer Stuart as saying, “The consumer side of marketing cannot be different from the culture side of the company, because customers can smell if there are two worlds.”
- Use an audit to take out the guesswork.
Company culture means different things to different people. So how do you curate a culture that will resonate with every employee? At McCann Synergy, we’ve been talking to employees around the world about culture and we’ve used that knowledge to create our unique ‘10 Dimensions of Culture Audit Tool. It’s become an essential tool for our clients.
When cultivating your culture, it’s important to plan and craft regular moments that your people can use to pivot emotionally towards your business. At McCann Synergy, with many new starters and a new hybrid working model, we decided to run our own culture exploration experiment – starting with a big three-day in-person event. The idea was to help colleagues reconnect, retune, and re-engage with our culture and what worked well for us to thrive.
We called it SynDig (a play on the word shindig) and it was about getting to know each other better, boosting working relationships and having fun. From the food to the sessions, it was co-created by the team, with many activities led by our engagement consultants, psychologists and facilitators. We used a before and after survey based on our ‘10 Dimensions of Culture’ to understand impact: at the end, 92% felt more connected to colleagues and 72% felt they could work through challenges together. Do get in touch for the full case study.
Need to re-align your culture for the new world of working? Then take a look at our new Culture Audit Solution. Based on the McCann Synergy ‘10 Dimensions of Culture’ Audit tool, it’s a streamlined way to get the right services and results for your business.
To discuss your culture needs, get in touch.
Head of Growth