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First Meridian

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Prayati Awati - Management Trainee

Developing & Nurturing Culture in Company

Prayati Awati - Management Trainee

As famously said by Peter Drucker: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast"

Strategy and culture are important to maintain organizational effectiveness. Strategy provides direction for action plan and helps in better decision making while culture of the organization helps in shaping behaviours and attitudes of employees. Individuals are known by their personal traits, in the same way Culture is personality of any organization. It constitutes of various elements such as vision, mission, values, goals and objectives, etc.

Company culture is important because employees today enjoy being at the workplace when they see they fit in that culture. Culture is categorized into the following types- Team first corporate culture (Team bonding and cross department collaboration is priority), elite corporate culture(Innovation and forward thinking is necessity), hierarchy corporate culture(bottom line is priority), horizontal(flexible and research oriented) and clan corporate culture (Major emphasis on employee engagement). An ideal company would be someone who could inculcate a blend of all these types.

Taking an example of Google which is very widely known for its company culture. The organization still feels like a small company with an informal atmosphere, even though it has grown tremendously over past decade. At lunchtime, almost everyone eats in the office cafe, sitting at whatever table has an opening and enjoying conversations with Googlers from different teams. Every employee is a hands-on contributor.

FirstMeridian bridges the cultural differences among its group companies through many initiatives. One of the best ways to manage culture difference is to have an open communication with the employees. At Innovsource, President of the company addresses all the employees during townhall every month about current scenario and future plans. The main agenda is to make sure that the employees feel there is transparency and agility as per the values of the company.

A Strong company culture tends to share several common attributes:

Autonomy: Successful organization comprehend that one of the best drivers of profitability is pride of ownership in one's work. The employees therein are engaged to improve and work with self-governance, without micro-managing or hand-holding.

Performance: High-performing organizations place a major emphasis on the nature of work delivered as opposed to the quantity of hours put in. Accomplishments are routinely celebrated within the sight of colleagues, who are additionally urged to remember each other for achieving significant achievements.

Passion: Employees who are part of a strong culture tend to be united by a common path to purpose and not profits. When the goals of each employee align with the objectives of the organization, true transformation happens.

Therefore, it’s important to percolate company culture across the functions. One can consider through some of the following ways.

  • Onboarding process which must be personalized so that it is more engaging, interesting and participatory
  • Incentivizing employees for the work they perform by keeping personal aspects in mind
  • Analysing the group dynamics to increase cohesiveness. Also understanding how current climate is affecting attitude of the employees by asking challenges faced in the business. As per current scenario, focus can be more on diversity initiatives.

Building a routine is essential to build a strong work culture. The culture of Innovsource is extremely vivacious and employee friendly. It is visible in the music played for half an hour every morning, during lunch break and in the evening every single day in the office. It really helps to refresh the mood of all the employees. Additionally, birthday celebration takes place every month during which birthday buddies of that month and all employees assemble together to cut the cake.

Overall, boosting and nurturing a positive culture has proven time and again to improve productivity and well-being of the organization. Investing resources into developing the right culture will contribute towards long term success of your company.

Leadership Hiring Traits

If the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, nearly half of people who switch their jobs do so due to their incompatibility with their boss. Truly said, a manager can either make or break a winning team. He/she can either take your organization to the zenith or strangle the employees to such an extent that they dread showing up. If you don’t want to lose out on your best staff, keep an eye open for these traits while hiring top-level executives.

Honesty

What will make employees trust a leader who is not even honest with them? Openness and transparency run a business. It is helpful to remember that the people down the ladder tend to follow the examples set.

Moreover, the best quality of a leader is the ability to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Believe it or not, it can be quite tough for some to accept that they are lagging in a particular department and need to shift gears. Being yourself is the key. Everything else just falls in place.

Communication Skills

A leader has to not just communicate but also make people understand their component in the completion of a process. Merging together diverse views on the objectives and getting everyone on the same page is what ensures successful completion of a task. Be it in oral or written format, the best leaders are experts in putting their views across.

Decisiveness

Apart from regular mundane decisions, the job of a leader keeps throwing hurdles at him. A leader must be swift to respond and be spontaneous enough to come up with the best possible solutions in no time.

An average person makes around 35,000 decisions daily; now, can you imagine how many decisions a manager has to make? If you want to see the business gallop on the charts of growth, choose someone who can be swift in making decisions.

Confidence

A leader transmits optimism to his employees. A confident leader has the capacity to boost the morale of the employees. A business is set to suffer setbacks, be it a court order or the entry of a new fierce competitor in the market.

If the business plummets ten times, a good leader makes sure that it’s brought back up with the same degree of enthusiasm every single time. A confident leader inspires the employees.

Responsibility

According to the 2015 Employee Engagement Report, only 25% of workers feel as though there are ample opportunities for professional development at their organizations. A great leader should have the understanding that the ship sinks or sails as per his/her actions. He/she should be active in keeping a tab on all the employees and making sure that they develop professionally. Ensuring this will make the employees engage with the business on a deeper level.

Empathy

The stat that was mentioned in the very first line is closely related to this point. If about 70% of people feel that they are filled to the brim with their work, aren’t the leaders supposed to empathize with them and lend a helping hand?

The entire business can collapse like a stack of dominos if managers lack a basic understanding of where the employees come from and what it’s like to be them.

No one is perfect and it will be quite a tough task to find someone who has all the qualities of a leader. Your safest bet would be someone who possesses most of these traits. But remember, there are no good or bad leaders; there are only leaders who are and those who possess the will to be.

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