3 ways to strengthen your company culture in 2020

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There is more and more awareness of the importance of workplace culture. As we enter a new decade, leaders are becoming aware of the need to create an environment where increasingly scarce and in-demand talent will choose to work.

But, while many leaders may wish to focus on strengthening their culture, most are at a loss of what this means or where to start.

Following are three things to think about to not only start your journey, but to get you down the road of intentionally building your company’s culture.

Be aware of your influence

Cultures are determined by group norms — what members of a group choose to do (or not do) as a part of accomplishing their purpose. People choose their actions based on their values and beliefs. As a leader, your values have a significant impact on the group’s values, and therefore, its culture. You have the ability to incent and reward behaviors that you believe will make the group successful. Your influence on the group’s culture can’t be understated and it’s worth taking a moment to think about how you want to use that influence. What do you truly value and what kind of culture do you want to lead?

Be authentically intentional

There is undoubtedly a difference between how your team is performing and what it needs to do to be successful. Knowing that our values and beliefs drive our actions, a leader must understand that high performing teams with strong cultures are those that are highly aligned around some core values.

One of the vital functions of a leader is to create clarity and awareness of those values. Just like you have probably created your business plan for the year, take some time to create a plan for how you will communicate and clarify the values and beliefs that will drive high performing actions by your team. Be careful though — you must be sure that your words and your actions are in sync or your message will ring hollow, discrediting you as a leader and weakening your culture.

Be purposely challenging

Many cultures have practices that have been around so long that no one remembers or knows why they are there. They may still be relevant, or they may be completely out-of-date and unproductive. Make the time to identify these activities and ask why they are being done. Are they consistent with our current values and beliefs? Are they helpful in accomplishing your purpose? You may discover that they are still worthwhile and reap the benefit of having your team further understand why things are done. Or you may eliminate actions that are a waste of time, and more important still, are weakening your culture without anyone realizing it.

Leaders have a tremendous impact on the culture of their teams. Taking some time to think about your company’s culture and how you can strengthen it this year will lead to many benefits in the decade to come.

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