What is your workplace culture? Is it one that encourages people to thrive and pushes your organization’s mission forward, or is it holding you back? For many workplaces, culture is something that develops organically, especially through the guidance (conscious or otherwise) of its leadership, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a hand in shaping it.
Building a winning culture can be challenging, but with the right tools, it’s well worth the effort and can revolutionize your workplace.
Your organization’s culture encompasses your team’s shared values, beliefs, behaviours, norms, and attitudes, and ultimately reveals how engaged and motivated your employees are. Culture also contributes to how easy it is to attract and retain top talent, how well-suited your business is to innovate and adapt, and how likely it is to succeed.
How do you build a winning company culture, though? Culture starts with leadership—and as a leader in your HR department, you and your team are well-positioned to take point in cultivating a culture of excellence in your organization—a winning company culture that encourages growth, development, and achievement.
How to Cultivate a Culture of Excellence in Your Workplace
A culture built for success doesn’t look the same in every organization. Companies, like people, are different. In most workplaces, individuals benefit the most by not following a one-size-fits-all path.
That said, successful organizations focus on these four key elements:
Leadership by example: When you need to create a culture that promotes open communication, autonomy, accountability (when things go right and when things go wrong), continuous learning, and flexibility, everybody in your organization looks to the leaders both in their departments and in the company as a whole.
Transparency and open communication: People do their best work when they work for people they can trust. Employees work best with leaders who engage in good faith, answer questions—even difficult ones!—honestly, and conduct themselves with integrity.
Employee development: Recognizing your employees’ strengths, encouraging their autonomy, and providing them with opportunities to spread their wings enables them to grow. Not only can you groom future leaders for your organization, including your own HR department, but your business as a whole also benefits from employees growing their skill sets.
Well-being and work-life balance: The COVID-19 pandemic led to a global reckoning over the mental health and well-being of employees across every industry and market sector. Today, the most successful companies with the strongest corporate cultures understand that their employees perform best when they are not only driven by passion and purpose but are also healthy, well-rested, and well-cared for.
Ultimately, cultivating a workplace culture that encourages corporate success means creating an organization where everybody knows what they’re doing, is passionate about what they’re doing, can do what they do in a sustainable and health-conscious way, and can comfortably work together and share ideas. A winning company culture leads by example, communicates openly, and encourages everybody to learn and grow. It values diverse perspectives and giving back to its community.
Now that you have a better idea of what to shoot for, let’s take a look at how to get there—namely, how your HR department can lead the way in developing a corporate culture employees love.
How to Improve Organizational Culture as an HR Manager
If you can’t clearly define your organization’s culture, it might not be optimized to guide the business toward success—which means it might be time for a much-needed change. Cultivating a culture of excellence and leadership can start right in your HR department through your strategic human resources management initiatives and tactics.
As an HR lead, you and your department have the power to:
Assess your current culture
Through culture audits, employee surveys, and analyzing your existing HR policies, you can define what your company’s culture currently is and discover where there is room for improvement.
Define your company’s core values
Now that you know the culture you have, identify the culture you want. Collaborate with leadership and key stakeholders to identify the values at the heart of your organization.
Align your HR practices
Now is the time to take a deep dive into how your HR department currently operates and where its practices can be improved to align with your culture. Remember, leading by example is key. From recruitment and onboarding to performance management, training, and more, it’s up to you to identify ways your department can set a standard and build up your desired workplace culture.
Foster employee engagement and communication
With the help of regular town hall meetings, feedback sessions, and other communication channels, you can engage your employees, help them contribute to the decision-making process, and create a culture where diverse voices are included and valued.
Find the company’s next leaders
An essential part of creating a culture of excellence is cultivating leadership. By defining leadership competencies, providing coaching and mentoring opportunities to employees who show potential for these competencies, and developing succession plans, you can build an upwardly mobile culture where hard work and leadership skills are recognized and rewarded.
Measure and celebrate progress
Building a culture of excellence in your workplace means keeping tabs on metrics to measure the impact of your marketing efforts. By recognizing milestones in your corporate culture-building strategies—and, critically, rewarding employees who stand out as an embodiment of the culture you hope to cultivate—you can keep your company on the right track.
As a senior HR stakeholder, you have the power to affect change throughout your company. By working closely with other key stakeholders and leadership, you can drive the evolution of your organization’s culture in a way that keeps everybody in the best shape for success.
Knowing how to cultivate a culture in your business can be a significant challenge, even for a seasoned HR leader. At Gameplan HR™, we offer the tools and expertise you need to rise to the occasion and overcome the challenges of building the culture of excellence your organization deserves. Talk to a Gameplan HR™ advisor today to get started.