Gauging Your Organization’s Cultural Health

Chris Edmonds is the founder and CEO of the Purposeful Culture Group, which he launched after a 15-year career leading and managing teams.
If you have never experienced successful culture change personally, as a team member in general or as a leader, you may not be prepared or know how to proactively manage your team’s culture. The culture of your team (or department or division or plant or region or whole company) is the engine that drives your team’s success – or its lack of success.

What leaders need is a how-to guide to crafting workplace inspiration, an approach that helps leaders make values, citizenship, and teamwork as important as performance. Such a guide is provided in my book, The Culture Engine, which offers a proven, step-by-step framework that helps leaders define a healthy team culture with an organizational constitution – and then helps leaders align plans, decisions, and actions to that constitution.

An organizational constitution specifies your team’s purpose, values and behaviors, strategies, and goals. It creates “liberating rules” that help leaders and team members understand exactly how they are expected to treat each other and their customers.

Pay attention to how your “Culture Engine” is running.
Most leaders I have worked with tell me they primarily watch performance metrics. Customer service rankings come in a distant second. Both of those factors are important. Organizations must be profitable and must have loyal, happy customers.

Perhaps pause for a moment to consider what critical success factors you monitor closely in your business. What “select few” metrics do you watch carefully to ensure your organization’s health?

Over three decades of research and experience have taught me that there is a third factor that deserves a leader’s focus and attention: the degree of workplace inspiration in your organization. The fact is that the health of your organization’s culture – the extent to which your work environment consistently treats team members with trust, dignity, and respect – has a huge impact on team performance and customer service.

When your team’s “integrity” value is defined in observable, tangible, measurable terms, it is easy to see when leaders and team members are modeling those behaviors, when they are living your team’s desired values in every interaction.

Culture change is not a quick fix. It takes time – but the time is well worth the effort. Our culture clients consistently enjoy 40 percent gains in employee engagement, 40 percent gains in customer service, and 35 percent gains in profits, all within 18-24 months.

Pay attention to how your “Culture Engine” is running. It’ll do you, your team members, your customers, and your company GOOD.

What do you think? What is the condition of workplace inspiration in your team, department, or division? What do your bosses pay attention to most – performance, service, or culture? How did your best bosses create a safe, inspiring work environment?


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