Organisational culture has been vital in the pandemic – but you can’t lose focus now
Temporall highlights some of the key processes that should be part of your approach to nurturing a healthy culture – whatever that may look like for your organisation.
Crises strengthens the need for leaders to make fast, high-quality decisions – and the pandemic has reinforced the importance of a clear and compelling strategy. But perhaps more than any other factor, the ongoing turbulence of 2020 has solidified the need for a robust organisational culture.
Whilst we already know that companies with great cultures outperform their competitors, many leaders don’t know how to measure or track it. It hasn’t sat on their leadership team agenda – until now. Until a crisis occured.
We’ve identified some key ways that leaders can nurture organisational culture. Whether you want to breed one of innovation, inclusivity, resilience, agility, collaboration, care or creative thinking, these foundational approaches should be embedded into your plan.
According to PA Consulting, 50% of workers do not believe that their leaders display the vision and passion needed to make innovation happen. This lack of collective drive – or perhaps a poorly communicated one – from the top feeds into team leads and down to individual employees. If leaders don’t possess the passion for innovation or other cultural factors – perhaps diversity – then why would your team?
You must therefore ensure that your culture is owned and lived at all levels of the organisation. Every leader, team and individual should be united around the core company values and collective ideals. To do so, your vision must be communicated in an inspirational manner. People must know why they come to work every day, what difference they are making, that they are respected, that they shouldn’t fear failure and that their opinion matters.
Times of crisis can be humbling for us all. Most of us will have spent some time reflecting on the magnitude and destruction of crises – whether that’s the COVID-19 pandemic, the racial clashes in the USA or something on a smaller scale. This year, the world slowed down for many of us and asking for advice, relying on others and listening to experts became the norm. This humbled nature is something you can bring to your leadership.
Maybe you have a tight deadline that needs to be met or you can’t make sense of some data – then ask for advice. If you ask your employees for help, you convey your respect, trust and vulnerability. Daniel Coyle, author of The Culture Code argues that this gives people the opportunity to show their skills and their experience, and you let them know their talent matters. And whilst confidence and capacity in leadership is inspiring; admitting that you need advice or have got something wrong shows that it’s ok to not be perfect at every turn. Exemplifying this at the top, shows that your team is allowed to get better by learning from mistakes – not hiding them.
Whilst you may have a clear picture of your formal organisational structure – do you really know who gives the best advice, what team is the most innovative, which employee inspires others, who is a digital native or which workspace people feel most productive? Probably not. Leaders often lack clarity on the intricacies of the informal organisational system because they largely only have visibility of the official structures, job titles and company policies. It is challenging – but essential – for leaders to overcome this partial insight and understand the abstract idea of culture because it demonstrates how work really gets done.
Analysing data from your employees and enterprise systems can help you define the current actions that have the greatest impact on your organisational culture. You must seek to identify the mindsets, behaviours and processes that are helping drive performance as well as those inhibiting it. Mapping these in relation to people and their networks can help you gain visibility on untapped connections. If you understand who your culture champions and influencers are, you can position them in the right place to have the greatest impact on those around them.
Our organisational intelligence platform Workbench gives leaders clarity. Workbench helps companies achieve a high performing culture using data and insight that allows leaders to continuously monitor, assess and adjust how their strategy is being executed across the organisation. The platform collects and analyses structured and unstructured data from across your organisation – showing you how work gets done most effectively and giving you the chance to assess anonymous sentiment and free text responses. This can bring you exceptional insight into how employees really feel beyond the boundaries of performance meetings, multiple choice questions or HR surveys.
The insights gathered from across your various productivity and communications tools, as well as directly from people and teams, gives leadership teams a clear picture of the organisation and its culture. We help you understand where you are now, what to do next and in what order, whilst monitoring key areas for your improvement. It analyses your data to help our team of experts and Partners produce three key real-time outputs that aid your decision making: Reports, Dashboards, and APIs to make these insights more pervasive and consumable across your company.
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