Culture, culture, culture! If I’ve heard the word culture once, I have heard it a million times. It is the consistent challenge of every organization. While I have worked in many different organizations with different leaders, they all struggled to influence their culture.

The most successful leaders understand the impact of culture on the success of an organization. Therefore, influencing your culture must be a priority for leaders. Why? A toxic culture will result in lost productivity and high personnel turnover. So how can you craft a positive culture?

An excellent way to start crafting your organization’s culture is by considering the standard features found in many successful cultures. While your organization is unique, the most influential culture will likely share many of the same characteristics.

Here are 11 ways to craft your organization’s culture:

  1. Have clear core values. All successful workplace cultures share a set of core values that are clear to all team members.
  2. Respect your team. Respect is an essential part of organizational culture. Team members that feel disrespected quickly become disgruntled. The quality and quantity of their work suffer.
  3. Communicate Openly. Open communication within the organization fosters greater success. This means between peers and between the various levels of the organization. Have regular communication across all levels.
  4. Include everyone. The significant separation between the upper-level and the lower-level team members has often been a source of friction. Establish an organizational culture that includes all team members, from the top leader to the person that sweeps the floors.
  5. Match the culture to the organization. It’s okay to be innovative and push the envelope. Just remember that the culture has to support your organization type, clients, and team members.
  6. Make everyone part of the culture. Everyone needs to be held to the same standards. Unfortunately, in many organizations, people look the other way when a leader fails to abide by the culture or rules of the organization. This breeds dissent and anger.
  7. Recognize team members. Positive organizational cultures give team members recognition for their accomplishments above and beyond the norm. Regardless of the size of your organization, please find a way to recognize a team member when they do something exceptional.
  8. Keep the team members’ goals in mind. For example, no team member dreams of working in a cubicle for the rest of their lives. So it’s crucial to find ways to help your team members progress forward in life.
  9. Solicit feedback. You can’t be everywhere at once. Ask for and use team member feedback. Encourage your team members to provide regular feedback on all aspects of the organization.
  10. Be transparent. The old mentality of, “You don’t need to know anything beyond what you need to know to do your job,” is dead. Keep team members in the loop and be respectful. They can handle the truth.
  11. Remain consistent. Consistency means it applies to all team members and at all times. If you’re willing to throw out your values during a mini-crisis, you don’t have a stable culture. The culture needs to come before everything else, or everyone understands that it’s all just smoke and mirrors.

Give these 11 ways some thought when crafting your own culture. Then, consider how you would address each of them in your organization.

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

– Henry Ford

Determine what culture works the best for you, your team members, and your customers.

Are you crafting your organization’s culture?


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About the author

Hi, I'm Kim, Your Leadership Guide. I equip aspiring leaders to lead with confidence, emerging leaders to expand their influence, and accomplished leaders to achieve significance!