More and more organisations are beginning to realise that a great culture within their company structure is one of the main factors for accelerated growth; developing their people ultimately develops the business. When COVID – 19 started to sweep the globe over six months ago, most companies had to switch to remote working full-time. Those that had a culture already in place found it easier to manage this rapid change. But where did it all begin, and why is culture so important in the new world of work?
A recent study with three large companies who have implemented and tracked the whole process has opened the door and shared their experiences. Bridgewater Associates, Next Jump and Decurion had a number of Development Psychologists from Harvard study these three organisations. After 2 years they had compiled a full workflow of their development along the way which they attribute their success to the culture they have generated in their businesses.
Culture is the personality of your company. It’s how you run your business, from the behaviour of the Founders or CEO, to how you hire, onboard, give recognition, and how you evaluate the performance of your employees. These HR tasks are typically owned by HR departments in most organisations but companies who are accredited as being DDOs (deliberate development organisations) give ownership of these tasks to everyone within the company structure. Creating a work environment that places people’s adult development at the centre of your strategy is the starting point of creating a great work culture because your people are the most important assets in your organisation.
The truest culture of a business starts with the top of the food chain, usually the CEO or top-level C-suite executives. Leaders with the right mindset will achieve the desired outcome; Sustainable growth for their people. True success is not measured in traditional terms, but success should be measured in the form of long-term sustained happiness and personal growth.
Work culture is a process that cannot be outcome-focused. This can be achieved by continuously working on self-improvement and achieving a higher purpose by helping others and developing yourself. When you place these two things side by side and actively implement them, the outcome will be long-term sustained happiness and growth.
How often as adults can we hit the pause button on who we are and take a breath? A lot of employees crave development, they want to grow. They often think developing their skills will lead to growth, but this is quite often not the case. They fail to realise that personal development is much more important to the integrity of a company. Learning humility, laying out your vulnerabilities and listening to feedback can be a very hard and humbling experience but a hugely rewarding one.
Two core components in people are confidence and humility. As children, we are taught how to be more confident, how to be kinder, “a better person”. When and why do we stop training to be better at these skills? One of the core principles of developing culture holds these two traits as an important foundation when recruiting, onboarding and rewarding employees. What studies have found is the best candidates to have a balance of these two traits.
We help them grow by providing a solid framework from the first day they start. All employees must be on board with your company culture, goals for the future, and your mission statement and expectations. Providing a work environment that allows them to understand that ‘wrong’ is not a failure, it’s an opportunity to grow and develop. There are very few failures or mistakes that are not fixable.
The result of the study from all three companies after 2 years was overwhelming. Implementing a work culture within their organisations led to an increase in productivity and employee turnover dropped from 40% to single digits. By making changes, it produced happier employees and increased turnover. This is causing many companies to sit up and take notice of these new work practices. Of course, the only way that you can see progress is by measuring the results. You must first implement the strategy, get all employees on board, and measure and constantly redefine the process. Without a regular connection to your people, the mission, vision and energy of the business can quickly dilute and degrade your cultural fibre. Assessment tools and surveys can help you gauge your culture, they may even reveal gaps between the culture you want to attain and the culture you currently have. Get on board today and start implementing these changes to create a great work culture. The results speak for themselves!
If you are interested in implementing a culture within your business and want to track and record progress along the way, HRLocker is a cloud-based online HR system packed full of personal development features for both managers and employees.