Trust in a company is hard to build.
Culture in a company is hard to build.
Both of these are incredibly easy to destroy.
When you look at the relationships, interactions, values and traditions that imprint that trust and that culture on the teams who call a business home, and the work that they do, it’s all about the human aspect and the human element, and how much people can actually feel like they belong, they care and they are invested in each other and the common journey. People have to like each other, and they have to support each other, and it’s got to come from every single level.
Your company culture is a reflection of what your organization stands for, and as the voice of your business, your employees are key to ensuring that it succeeds. When you provide a work environment that your staff enjoys spending time in, it can help to improve their performance each and every day.
If we didn’t focus on the human parts of our culture at Flare, we wouldn’t have one at all. And the same is almost certainly true for you.
The problem with anything that depends on people actually getting along, is that we notoriously don’t, in so many situations. Whether it’s an adult or a children, it’s easy for relationships to fragment and fall apart. You can see this in the wrong word said in a friendly game of footy, an early morning pre-coffee interaction in the hallway of an office, or just some messed up behaviour that nobody bothered to check.
Here’s what to look out for:
Different Vs. same
Bad dispute resolution
When people aren’t talking, there’s either already an issue, or there’s about to be. When the communication stops happening, it means that at some point, somewhere, things have started to break down. There is no way to maintain a culture that works at that point. Keeping your people communicating openly is the only to keep the lights on.
Before you leap into action — and in the process create a lot more work for yourself — let me suggest that you think of the complaints about communication problems as the canary in the coal mine. It’s a signal that something is wrong, but it itself is probably not the problem.
– Harvard Business Review
— Foodable (@Foodable) February 3, 2018
“Different vs. same” hiring
There’s a balance that needs to be struck between hiring teams of people who have no common ground, no common interests and no common bond, and hiring everyone who’s exactly the same. Neither approach, unchecked, is going to work. But there’s also a deeper part of this – hiring that isn’t diverse, that doesn’t reflect the wider spectrum of the world, is always going to lead to a homogenisation of culture and a badly damaged structure.
Having a diverse workforce serves to protect your company from such a toxic work environment by fostering compassion and consideration of different points of view and preventing individuals from being singled out and marginalized. This, in turn, can lead to greater workplace productivity, higher retention rates and stronger morale.
– Vail Centre
Bad dispute resolution
If the communication is right, and the hiring is right, we’re looking good. But we need more than that, every single business needs to have a way of solving problems when they come up. A way that’s fair, equitable and reasonable, a way that demonstrates a level of empathy, and a process that can be followed. When this is lacking, you’ll find the culture is fractured by every single party feeling like their concerns aren’t worth dust.
Resolving conflicts can be a strong bonding experience, because it unites your team. You’ve faced and overcame a challenge together. You’ve fostered a better understanding between your team members. You don’t just solve a problem, but you enhance the communication in your startup, which is one of the most important things you can do when building a company.
No business’ culture is immune to being absolutely wiped out from within. No business’ culture is impervious to assault. And if you’re working on the HR team, or the people & culture team, you’ll agree that it’s more important than ever before, to make better choices around solving cultural issues. When you work towards streamlining these, you’re onto a winner. When you can work towards understanding where the culture is in danger, you can get out ahead of it and guard against the issues.