As we discussed in our intro to these thoughts on building company culture during this extended period of disruption, your culture can be summed up as the things people do when nobody is looking – and right now, for a vast majority of the working day, there are plenty of people working with nobody watching. How can you make sure that the behaviours they display are right for their colleagues and for your business?
The first step is the same as when you are looking to build your ideal culture in more ‘normal’ circumstances, which is to define the behaviours you want to see. The flow of the thinking around this is as follows:
Purpose – what is the overriding purpose of your business, other than making money?
Vision (business vision and culture vision) – what do you want things to look like at some point in the future (3-5 years)? How will you know when you have got there? Does getting there serve the purpose of the business?
Strategy – how will you get there? Which activities will the business focus on to achieve the vision, in which markets, with which customers?
Values – how do you want your business and your people to be? How will your people and your customers feel about the business?
Behaviours – the actions individuals within the business can take to bring the values to life and that are necessary to implement the strategy. It is behaviours that are experienced by employees and customers, not values – so what do you want good to look like for you and your people and will those behaviours deliver the strategy, achieve the vision and serve your purpose?
For you our new reality might be really hectic, and the most you can do right now is to think about some behaviours that will serve you through this immediate period. These may be leadership behaviours such as checking in with each employee daily or every couple of days, making those check-ins more than just work stack conversations and facilitating conversations between people in similar home / family / health situations. They may be employee behaviours such as reaching out to customers or prospects to see if you can help them in any way, offering support in your community or looking to spend new found time on some key initiatives that have previously struggled for time and resources.
You may find you have more time to think about your business or your team than you have had previously, in which case you might be able to think more deeply about the flow of thinking outlined above and think more long term about the behaviours that will make up your ideal culture going forwards. You may have done ‘vision and values’ work previously, but we know from deep experience that it is behaviours that make a culture, not the values listed on the website and the walls, and now could be the time to reflect on that next level of culture building.
Whatever the right behaviours are for your business, for now or for the future, think about them, discuss them and start to write them down. In our next article we will discuss how you can support your people to display those behaviours whilst working remotely.
In the meantime take care of each other and stay safe, and if you want to chat about the article or any of the thinking it promotes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our founder Simon Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org
CultureBlox helps organisations to define, measure and build their ideal culture, solve people issues proactively and grow leaders and employees that will bring sustained success to their business.