Why is it important to assess your organizational culture?
Traditionally, customer relationships, cost structure and revenue streams have reigned as the most important elements of running a business.
However, making its way up that list is organizational culture.
Office culture is what makes your business unique. It's influenced by everyone hired to work for your company, whether they contribute actively or passively.
Culture is dictated by the most junior person in your office who's always enthusiastic, the “fun” boss who's always out enjoying themselves, or even the office manager who's sarcastic but has a heart of gold (ahem).
Some take pride in being the head of the social committee while others contribute by not participating (and that's fine too!)
No matter who shows up for the office birthday celebration or wears their team colors on NFL day, the path forward is blazed by the leaders of the company.
The 6 Best Times to Assess Your Organizational Culture
As a leader, you must take the time to assess your organizational culture, identify and resolve any issues that may be impacting your culture, and ensure you support your team during times of change.
So, when should you assess your organizational culture? Here's a helpful guide:
Post Leadership Changes
Whenever there's a leadership change, whether that be an addition or a departure, it will have an effect on the culture in the office.
Different leaders have different ideas on what office culture should look like. Some enjoy music playing in the background and want employee-created content shared on the screens within their space. They may even implement free breakfast Mondays or half-day Fridays as a way to keep employees happy.
Others believe that working through lunch and little employee recognition is the best way to run their company.
That's why it's so important to make sure new leadership understands the established company culture. As will always happen when someone new joins a team, there will be changes that'll win and others that won't go over too well.
Maintaining open lines of communication with your team is the best way to resolve any tension related to organizational change.
Direct Management Changes
Having new management to report to will undoubtedly disrupt the status quo for your employees.
As a senior leader, making yourself available to your team and the new sales manager will help both groups transition into the change. Assess the behavior amongst the group during this time and pivot accordingly.
Perhaps creating an event where the team can come together to welcome new members socially will also break down any potential barriers.
Lean on the existing culture and have team members help one another adjust.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions have the potential to be either empowering or damaging for your business.
Support your team during the process by hosting company-wide events that encourage new and old faces to join together.
Team building activities are also very helpful during these times.
Layoffs are painful, but they do give you the chance to assess your organizational culture.
Perhaps a former employee brought something to the table that you'd like to live on. Or, an employee that negatively influenced the culture and left made you realize you need to totally start fresh as a team!
Regardless of the scenario, check-in with your team by scheduling a meeting and allowing them to voice any concerns. Then, use their input to build a healthier work culture.
Rapid sales growth is something to celebrate.
In this scenario, your company is growing, people are being hired, and there is more than enough work to go around. Congratulations! This is a prime chance to see whether new hires are integrating well with your established office culture.
Schedule one-on-one meetings and encourage new team members to voice any and all questions or concerns.
Let's say your office has grown by 47% and you decided to move into a larger office space.
500+ people have just had to pack up their desks, sort through all their stuff and get ready to walk into a nightmare. IT hasn’t finished all of the desk setups; 1 desk pod has no power and 11 people have just come to you saying that their boxes are not at their new desk.
How do you stop a full-scale mutiny?
Well, as a leader, you would have already prepared for the worse by making sure each employee was accountable to a packing checklist and other processes established by your awesome office manager.
But, the state of your organizational culture also plays a huge role. Are your employees disgruntled for other reasons? Is there something you could to to ease their transition into the new space?
It's really important for you to provide your team with the support they need.
When it comes down to it, office culture is directly influenced by the people involved. If employees begrudgingly show up to happy hour because the boss keeps asking them to go, or roll their eyes when invited to a team lunch, then the culture suffers.
Take a look at the people in the office, determine who they are and try to create an environment in which they'll feel welcomed. Do so by allowing them to voice their preferences. Keep lines of communication open, embrace team diversity and encourage your employees to take ownership of the company. This way, you and your team will create an incredible office culture.
eBook – Assessing the State of Your Business: Start with Sales
Sales leaders often think that missing annual revenue goals is the ultimate mark of an underperforming sales team.
But the truth is, reps failing to hit their targets is just another symptom of poor strategic planning and lack of organizational alignment.
That's why taking the time to assess the state of your business is so important.
Click on the image below to download our latest eBook today!