The Difference a Positive Corporate Culture Makes

A company’s culture is so very important! It determines how well a company does over time, i.e., its work, its service to clients and its financial results.

The term “corporate culture” is commonly used for larger corporations and it seems “organizational culture” for smaller companies, non-profits and government entities. They are the same, be the term corporate or organizational culture.

It’s how senior management and all other employees relate, communicate and interact with one another. It’s the spirit of the people and the morale within the company.

Positive, energizing corporate culture is built upon respect and trust.

  • Do the senior executives treat their people as important team members?
  • Do their team members feel appreciated?
  • Are they being asked for their ideas?
  • Do the senior people listen to understand and learn?
  • Do they invest in and help their people grow?
  • Are team members paid appropriately or is there a huge gap between the most senior people and everyone else?
  • Are problems dealt with effectively and promptly, not allowed to fester?

All of these communicate to our people that we appreciate and respect them, their ideas and their contributions. This is how dynamic corporate culture thrives. Respect for our people fuels positive attitudes, gratitude and engagement.

Happy employees do better work.

Just as good leadership is about relationships – and relationships are developed through conversations, the same is true of culture. It’s a challenge, for sure, as today’s business world is so crazy-busy. Very often, top executives are inundated. We are not walking the halls and are having too few conversations with the people doing the work of our companies.

Creating and maintaining quality relationships through conversations with our people must be a top priority. Both senior and middle managers need to make time to connect with their team members, and not just their favorites, with all employees.

I am not suggesting working even more hours. Not at all. We have to find ways to better manage our time so we may focus on our priorities, which includes conversations with our people. They are our internal clients.

A vital first step in time management is asking our people how to have fewer, more efficient and more effective meetings. They will have ideas, ideas which will save everyone time, lighten the stress level many feel and help make our work easier and more enjoyable. That’s a nourishing, wholesome objective, for sure.

Personal email management varies depending on circumstances and administrative support. We must address it. We will gain a lot more productivity if we significantly reduce the time we spend reading the

emails coming at us by 50 to 75%.

I personally have been inspired by a friend, a successful and insightful leader, who begins his day with an empty email box. I am there now myself. I love how this feels and how it helps my productivity.

Increased productivity is founded upon conversations with our people, by knowing how they are, what they may need, how we may help, and gaining clarity on expectations and success.

If our people know they are genuinely appreciated and valued, feel heard and know their ideas matter, team productivity, work, morale and year end results will improve.

Remember, short conversations are better than no conversations.

The managing partner of a consulting firm I have worked with travels regularly and will pick up the phone when he has time. He calls his team

members and other colleagues while in an airport, a taxi and his hotel room. He lets them know he is thinking about them, asks if there is anything he should know and thanks them for their work. It means a lot to his people.

Many of our people could well be feeling unhealthy levels of stress. Why is that? Their manager? Unrealistic goals and expectations? Too much work than can be done in a work day? How can we help?

Of course, the stress may be from personal lives? Can we still help?

A wise investment would be an assessment of our culture. What gets measured gets improved. When I facilitate an assessment, I have always seen positive results, specifically improved leadership, productivity and morale.

Let’s bear in mind the difference an energized, enthusiastic, collaborative and encouraging culture makes – and how our actions and conversations can help inspire the spirit of our people.

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