What Organizational Culture is Built On

clear expectations employee experience exceeding expectations leadership culture organizational culture and values organizational culture definition reputation the importance of organizational culture values Apr 04, 2022
Organizational Culture and Values

Now that we’ve developed a foundation for The Importance of Organizational Culture, and we have a practical definition of organizational culture we can work from as we lead our teams, let’s nail down what we really need as a strong foundation for that culture to be built on…

If we, as leaders in our organizations, want to establish a foundation that creates the kind of culture our team can rally around over the long haul, through good and bad, to achieve great results, we’ll certainly have our work cut out for us! That said, taking action on this is 100% our responsibility and it’s really not all that hard to do…

In any company, there are certain things that are viewed as the bare minimum expectations, there are guidelines that everyone is held accountable to follow, and there are some behaviors that absolutely will not be tolerated. Over time, these things become what we see as the organizational culture; what our team members experience on a day to day basis and what we’re known for throughout the communities we operate in!

So what is our organizational culture really built on? Our VALUES!

This can be pretty stinking tough to digest, especially if we’re not happy with where our culture is or if we don’t believe it matches what we truly value. But that doesn’t mean it’s not true! The good news is it’s within our control - if, indeed, we really are willing to do the hard work required to genuinely lead…

In looking for some supporting documentation for my perspective on this, I found a fairly recent article on Indeed called Culture Vs. Values: What’s the Difference? that made a powerful statement right out of the gate, “Successful businesses often have set core values and healthy corporate cultures they use to promote their business efforts and define themselves as companies.” I suppose it’s possible to achieve some level of success without having set core values or a healthy culture, but I sure can’t name a company of any size that’s maintained much success over time with both!

If you’re anything like me, even the title of that article got you thinking… I’ve had several conversations over the last couple of months with regards to how values and culture tie together, and whether or not those are just two names for the same thing. They’re not, but don’t take my word for it! Here’s what they folks at Indeed went on to share:

“Culture, while heavily influenced by leadership, often occurs at the employee level. Each person within a company contributes to its culture. When company leaders effectively promote the organization's values, and everyone within the company shares the same commitment to fulfilling its goals, everyone can work together to create an intentional culture that embodies the company's values.”

As I referenced above, the culture we build ends up being what people see from our organization but it truly stems from who we are as leaders for our organization - the values we hold dear and set as expectations for each member of our team to be in line with. While this should be fairly simple, we do need to invest the energy into making sure we have a clear understanding of exactly what we do value most and we can effectively define those values to everyone on our teams - and that’s exactly what we’ll begin working on next!