5 Steps to Installing Culture

Guest Post

Ok, so I’ll admit it. The world of HR isn’t always a walk in the park.

With hairy topics like:

  • Holding onto star employees (while dealing with poor performers)…
  • Creating a vision for the future growth of your company…
  • And developing the leadership ability to bring that vision to life…
    It’s easy to see why HR can seem kind of intimidating.

And why many business owners put off digging into their HR processes and structures (often until it’s too late). Because it takes a special breed of specific planning, awareness and skills to get the best out of your people.

5 Steps to Installing Culture

That’s why today I wanted to wrap up our focus on Workplace Culture by taking some of the stress and pressure off your plate.

This article is going to give you a simple and easy framework for installing the workplace culture that you want… So that you can take action knowing that you have a proven process to follow, we’ll explore a framework for putting a new culture in place.

But first, if you haven’t defined your culture yet, I’m going to make it super easy by giving you an example that you can adapt or refine for your own purposes:

Key attributes of high achievement cultures

Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t defined your culture yet. It can be a huge challenge.

I always recommend that you start by looking at what you want. Then plan how to get it.

This example maps out some attributes of high achieving cultures. So that you can see how to plan and build the type of culture you want.

Remember, you may want a completely different culture (for example, socially conscious, creative and innovative, or nurturing and supportive).

So the type of culture comes first. Then recognising and developing the attributes that culture consists of brings it to life.

The following 6 key attributes of winning cultures comes from analysis that Bain & Company conducted of over 200 high-performing companies and found in common:

  • The desire to win
    Employees have high aspirations and good is never good enough. Go farther, push harder, get better.
  • Focused externally
    Energy is focused externally on delighting customers, beating competitors and creating community (avoiding internal facing issues, such as company politics).
  • Owner’s attitudes
    Employees take personal responsibility over the success of the business. Company performance gets prioritised over individual or personal performance.
  • Action takers
    Do, not talk. Impatient to get things done, actions are aimed at enhancing the business.
  • Team players
    The importance of teamwork is recognised and people are open to other people’s ideas and collaboration.
  • Passion and energy
    People give 110% percent, going above and beyond the call of duty. It’s an infectious enthusiasm that ripples through the all levels of the organisation.

Now that you’ve read through these attributes, can you see how this level of clarity can help you with everything from recruiting new people (next month’s topic!), to onboarding and training staff, to goal setting and performance management?

Next, let’s see how installing a new culture can be made easier with the right process:

My 5-step framework for installing new culture

Here’s a very simple 5-step framework you can follow to install the culture you want:

Step #1: Define it

Hopefully by now you feel comfortable defining your culture. This is best done by looking at what you want it to be, validating it with your employees, then doing a gap analysis of where you need to be.

Step #2: Teach it

One you have defined it, spread the word. Communicate it and be open if there are areas that you want to change. In the first instance this is best communicated verbally by stories and examples. Then, ensure it’s replicated through all of your collateral (i.e. website, induction packs, position descriptions, emails etc.).

Step #3: Live it

The worst thing you can do is set and forget. Or even worse, set it and allow leaders to get away with not following it. This must be lived, led and examples set at the highest level. Culture is not just about what we say. It’s about what we do. Remember my favourite saying… the standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

Step #4: Measure it

What’s measured can be managed. Review how you will measure culture in your workplace. My recommendation is to focus on a 1-3 areas at a time.

Step #5: Reward it

Review how you recognise and reward positive examples and ensure they are consistent with how you achieve your financial objectives.

Find out your Culture IQ Score.

Take our signature BespokeHR Culture IQ Score to see how you benchmark against 13 key areas of business, and where your strengths and opportunities lie.

This fully customised report will address the areas in your business that may be leading to people problems, productivity bottlenecks and lower levels of engagement and staff retention.

Take the assessment for free below.

Paulette Kolarz
Managing Director

Growing and Inspiring Great Workplaces

Paulette Kolarz is widely recognised as one of Australia’s leading authorities in Human Resource Management and Leadership Development. As the founder and Managing Director of BespokeHR Paulette is passionate about growing and inspiring great workplaces. Truly partnering with her clients, she designs and implements effective people, leadership and management strategies to help take businesses to the next level. As a keynote speaker, educator and mentor, Paulette inspires people through her practical and humanistic approach to leadership. With an unwavering belief that ‘You can’t have good HR without great leaders’, Paulette focusses on equipping leaders with the skills, knowledge and tools required to build productive, high performing teams and great organisational culture.