“Embracing Your Cultural Health”
At Tacticware, we discuss the most difficult subjects for today’s leaders. We suggest that leadership, company culture, and strategy are the ultimate source of most business challenges, rather than a symptom.
Unfortunately, a magic elixir for improving cultural challenges simply does not exist. Every customer transaction is impacted by the quality of organizational culture. And every employee has established cultural perception they communicate to customers.
Article Introduction – “Embracing Your Cultural Health”
Cultural health is based on employee and management perception. Perception is what people feel. Perception drives brands. Perception drives cultural health. Perception drives employee behavior and business practices. Perception drives trust. Perception drives customer satisfaction and eventually, loyalty. Perception drives profit.
Management establishes and cultivates the boundaries of cultural health. Management is the fulcrum of brand perception. If management fails to understand its perception, how can they understand employee and customer expectations?
Perception is reality. Perception guides our decisions and narrative. What managers perceive is their decision-making reality. And what employees perceive is their reality. Their perception influences employee retention and productivity.
Perception is transactional. Employees communicate perception to customers with every transaction. Employees at every level are ambassadors of company perception and culture.
Quality leaders understand and value perception because it establishes conditions and boundaries for excellence. It causes us to investigate, forge ahead, and examine the facts. Facts and truth are not always the same. Sometimes we place our faith in the wrong people and practices.
Pivot Your Thinking
Companies with poor cultural health eventually become irrelevant to shareholders as failed investments. As for employees, they move to another job. Competitors and other industries poach valuable employees. Management struggles to achieve its goals.
The fact is organizations with high-quality cultures consistently deliver greater quality, service, innovation, and shareholder value. In this environment, employee retention is greater and collaborative relationships thrive between customers and employees.
Key Contributors to Cultural Health
- Leadership – Leadership is influenced and influences cultural health. A quality culture allows management to consistently achieve objectives. Superior employee perception of management is an indicator of effective communication.
- Culture Management – Culture management allows leaders to understand cultural challenges using facts and evidence rather than emotion or assumption. A well-defined Culture Management program sets boundaries and expectations for growing cultural health.
- Effective Planning – Employees and customers both expect planning, consistency, and execution of objectives. Companies failing to effectively plan and execute find themselves on an endless loop of customer and employee attrition. Their view is why stick with an organization failing to deliver on its promises?
What is My Cultural Health?
Assessing your company’s cultural health is the first step in understanding its cultural challenges. The 360 Organizational Assessment process benchmarks measurable facts rather than subjective assumptions. Our assessment process for example identifies ten (10) areas of greatest cultural concern.
The most important concept to grasp regarding the 360 Cultural Assessment process is it functions as an important tool. It identifies the difference between source and symptom. The fact is most managers solve symptoms, not the source of its challenges.
The 360 Organizational Assessment process is an excellent indicator of why financial growth is inconsistent or stagnant. The failure of management to execute strategies and tactics is a primary source of employee and customer attrition.
The 360 Organizational Assessment KPIs (key performance indicators), provide a roadmap for improvement. Cultural change is not a quick fix. It requires commitment, engagement, and accountability.
There is a clear path to improving cultural health. Some may be solved internally – with focus groups or by management actions. The other approach recommends bringing in an unbiased, outside source with expert resources and guidance. Both have their merits.
What We’ve Learned
Effective leadership, culture, and planning are the foundation contributing to the total quality and success of the business. Without a quality culture, customer value erodes, and attrition invades.
Objectively speaking, it can be helpful to employ an unbiased expert to help your organization when considering cultural analysis and improvement. Oftentimes an outside, objective ally can assist in determining all sides and pieces of the puzzle, giving an honest view of cultural health with no play of politics.
Tacticware offers leadership training resources, 360 assessments, and on-location guidance to modify the cultural health of the enterprise.
Paul Fournier is President of Tacticware Resource Group and Paul R. Fournier Books. Tacticware is an organizational management consultancy firm offering leadership/management development, cultural management systems, strategic planning, and 360 Cultural Assessments. We assist clients on location nationally. Learn more about transforming your business by contacting us.
Anonymous Cultures, the Silent Majority
My current book “Anonymous Cultures, the Silent Majority” is available from Amazon in hardback, paperback, Audible, and Kindle eBook. It offers a comprehensive discussion of leadership, culture management, and strategy to improve your business.
Quality people do not have a color, religion, gender, or age. We are committed to diversity and equal opportunity. We do not discriminate against racial, ethnic, and/or religious groups, older workers, women, veterans, and people with disabilities. As a matter of policy, we remain apolitical, religion-neutral, and respectful of local customs.