Can your business work without a strong strategy and culture? In this blog I will give you some insight about what can be done to create a more efficient working environment through the use of strategy and culture.
What is a working culture?
When we talk about culture what exactly do we mean?? Well in my opinion culture is the blood that runs through the veins of the business. It’s the way things are done, its behaviours, its values. It is something that develops naturally off the back of very clearly defined values.
Your values….how do you define them?
Our values guide our decision making and provides a sense of what is right and also what is important. It’s our principles!
- Prioritise meaningful values and phrase them in a way that reflects you and your company.
- Reinforce them, display them, shout about them, and most importantly reward those who act in line with them…
If you get the values right, the culture will follow.
What does a healthy working culture look like?
Low employee turnover, open communication lines, values that ring true with the staff, a healthy work life balance and a good reputation are all signs that you have a healthy working culture.
The easiest way to look at where you can make improvements and to understand how well your values translate into your working culture is by conducting an anonymous staff survey. Ask for feedback and take onboard their comments in an objective way. You may see things that you don’t agree with but trying to understand where these comments come from will help you to build a more positive working environment.
An adaptable culture provides a better working environment….
Culture is formed by people and can become subject to variation and change. Change can be challenging to introduce in any business, but just because “it’s the way things have always been done” doesn’t mean that it cannot change for the better. An evolving culture will help you to build long term relationships with your team and you will be able to adapt in ways that ensure a better culture and in turn a more efficient workforce.
Think about how much things have changed since the 80’s, it wouldn’t work well for any business to be working to culture standards that were in place before much of their work force was born…
We adapt to technology in our businesses and benefit from speed and efficiencies. Adapting your culture will bring many benefits. Think about how many more employees are really engaged when it comes to environmental issues now, compared with just 15 years ago, adapting to address issues that are important to your team helps to align your beliefs with theirs, giving them a better feeling of belonging and ultimately a sense that they work somewhere they are happy to be.
Your strategy is your overarching plan….
Strategy is simply another word for plan, it’s a series of actions that need to be adhered to in order to achieve a common goal or target.
Having a strategy is so important, it provides clarity, focus and direction for everyone involved in the business. I always recommend an overall strategy for the business and its goals and then depending on your size I might also suggest departmental and even in some cases individual strategies for success throughout the business. They are great way of keeping everyone accountable for the part they play in the success of the company overall.
Although I would create a strategy that is tailored to the business that I am working with I would I suggest these areas are good starting place….
- Define your vision
- Why is your USP
- Plan time to research – your market, your customer, new markets
- What are you targets? revenue, sales, marketing, productivity
- Make it adaptable
- Measure your results
The strategy will be supported by a strong culture, and it will help your staff to willingly work towards your goals. You need a strong culture and a great strategy, combined for success.
If all the people in an organisation row together in the same direction that organisation can dominate in any industry in any market against any competition at any time. The question shouldn’t be Strategy V’s Culture. It should be how can I get my strategy and culture to work alongside each other.