Developing a Winning Organizational Culture

ChartYourCourseIntlFor over a decade, I have featured informational insights and ideas provided by the organization of Gregory P. Smith, ‘Lead Navigator’ and President of Chart Your Course International. During this time, Smith’s organization has grown steadily in both size and stature in the business community. Anytime is a great time to invite all of the organization managers in the circle of the World Sweeping Companies to reflect on how their businesses are organized. The internal structure and guidelines that flow from the top of any business entity – whether a public works department or sweeping company – are the blueprint for how successful the organization can become. I believe you will benefit greatly from reading the following guidelines on how to organize the culture of your company, including how you invite, and react to, feedback from both inside and outside your organization. – Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor of and Executive Director of the World Sweeping Association

Shaping Organizational Culture

GoalsVisionThere are many challenges that face executives and the leaders of a business. Guiding and directing the way employees handle the business, transactions, relations with one another, and overall functions of the company are key parts of being in leadership. Establishing a well-defined organizational culture is vital to being successful in business development.

What is Organizational Culture?

All businesses and organizations create a way in which the employees relate to one another and the outside world. There is a set of expectations that are passed around by the environment of the business. This can include the way employees handle transactions, conflicts, customer service issues, policies, and many other aspects of the business. These expectations encompass everything that is written in the form of a policy, to the unwritten rules that have been established over the course of time.

Who is in Charge of Shaping the Organizational Culture of a Business?

It is best that these cultures are established by the leaders and executives of the business. If there is a lack of leadership, the culture will be defined and taught by the employees of the company. This is a dangerous way to allow your business to be run. It is best that as a CEO, you stay on top of the organizational culture of your company and intentionally shape it into what you want it to be.

How do Executives Shape Organizational Culture?

In order for the executives and leaders of a company to shape the organizational culture, there are few things they will need to put into place: Establish a vision: A vision statement is a powerful sentence that defines exactly what the purpose of a company is. A vision of the future helps all employees have a good understanding of what the business does and where it is going. Create a mission statement: Once the vision of the company has been created, a leader must create a mission for the business. These are specific goals the company will reach in an estimated amount of time. The mission for a company should be fairly specific and revised yearly. When the mission for the company has been established, it should be made known to all employees. This gives everyone specific goals to shoot for. Strategic business planning: When there is a well-defined vision and mission statement, strategic business planning for the business can take place. Every decision can be made with confidence when the question is asked, “Will this decision help the business meet its goals, or hinder it from meeting its goals?” Making of policies: Policies, procedures, and values are very important to shaping organizational culture. This defines how employees are to respond to one another and to their customers. When well defined, the decision making process becomes easier. These are just a few of the things that you, as an executive or business owner, you should be doing to shape the organizational culture of your business. Understanding the importance of this part of your company can be the difference between succeeding and failing at what you are trying to accomplish. [One of the most important aspects that shape the organizational culture of a business is the manner in which constructive critique is provided to employees of the organization. To become better at providing employees with the feedback they need, take a look at the following ideas.]

Tips For Giving Good Feedback

Quite possibly one of the most difficult tasks that you can have as a leader is to give those under your authority feedback on their job performance. There is always the fear that what you have to say will be taken in a negative way by your employees and cause tension or resentment. Regardless of your hesitations, giving good feedback is important to keep the team growing and working well together. Here are few tips that will help you formulate the best possible evaluation for your employees. Be Willing to Take Feedback: If you want to be able to give the necessary feedback that your employees and those under your authority need, then you will have to set the example. You should make it clear to others that you are open to hearing some of their ideas and observations about the business. It is important to model for others on your team a positive reaction to feedback. If an employee suggests a change that will be beneficial to the company, you should give them credit and make it known that you used the idea. This will make you more approachable when you need to evaluate your employees. Prepare Ahead of Time: It is very important to establish a meeting with your subordinates in order to give the feedback. They should not be caught off guard and be made aware ahead of time if it is not a regularly scheduled evaluation. They will have time to feel ready for the meeting and it also gives you time to prepare your thoughts. Writing out a list of items you expect to address in the meeting is important. It will give you the opportunity to know exactly what to say and how to address each issue. You will also have the ability to make sure you are adding in positive feedback with any negative feedback that needs to be given. Give Specifics: Anytime you are giving feedback to employees or associates, it is best to point to specific situations. When you are vague about a person’s actions, they will easily become defensive and start picking apart your feedback. It can leave you feeling unconfident in your thoughts, and it will also not be productive for your employee. Write down incidences that come up prior to the meeting so that they are fresh in your mind. Clearly outline specific criticisms, praises, and any expectations you have out of your employee. This way they walk out of the meeting with you ready to be more productive for the company. Have Compassion: Above all, it is vital that you have compassion for the person you are evaluating. Remind yourself of times that you have been given feedback and how difficult it is to be told things that you don’t want to hear. Put yourself in their shoes, and give them patience in regards to the way they handle the feedback. Upon exit of the meeting, you should present your employee with an outline of what was discussed. Write down points of praise and specific areas that need to be improved upon. This way, your employee understands clearly what you expect out of them. The above article was written by an associate of the Chart Your Course organization, Gary Sorrell, of Sorrell Associates, LLC. If you have any questions about this article, or would like to investigate how the folks at Chart Your Course International can help you shape your organizational culture, here is the link to contact them.

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