Is Your Company Culture Aligned With Business Goals?
A healthy and positive culture is crucial for the smooth running of any business. After all, culture is what defines how employees work, and inadvertently builds the identity or reputation of a company. When the corporate culture is healthy, employees are happy because they feel welcome, their work is appreciated and they are empathised with. Not surprising then, that employees working in such an environment are likely to be more productive and contribute to business growth. But how does a positive and productive culture get fostered?
Enter, Vision and Mission
There are many things that shape organisational culture. Founding members and their values and preferences, industry demands that change over time, the leadership management style, employees who are onboarded after the initial team has been set up, etc. are all factors that create and maintain culture. Not to mention, every company has its own vision, mission and values that lay the foundation for its growth and success. The mission statement is what defines the purpose behind any business, while the vision statement puts together what the company wants to accomplish once the business is set up.
These statements are constructed with well-crafted words, but when brought to life, create a culture that the company lives and breathes. Through this culture, employees propel the organisations’ objectives. But the role of any organisation’s vision and mission is not limited to shaping culture, it extends to ensuring success in business. Vision and mission statements for any business drive clarity, increase awareness about what the company is aiming to achieve and with it, what employees can achieve in their individual capacities. A company where these statements are kept in mind while taking every step forward, has employees who are more likely to be engaged, innovative and creative.
If the two major aspects related to the efficient working of a company - culture and business are in sync with its vision and mission, these aspects should be in sync with each other as well.
Getting the Alignment Right
For a company to succeed it is important that shaping corporate culture cannot be a standalone operation but one that is aligned with the company’s business goals. At the same time, it is also important to keep in mind that as industry trends change, so can business goals. Which means corporate culture should be one that is flexible and open to change. The leadership team has a huge role to play here. It is important that this is not treated with a one-size-fits-all approach. Every organisation is different not only in terms of the industry it comes under but also in terms of business strategy. And hence, what works for one company may not work for another. Culture building depends on many factors like the company’s newly devised business strategy, and the nature of jobs too.
Take for example technology-led companies like IBM, Accenture, Cognizant and even Facebook, whose main aim is to excel in innovation. For them, agility and change matter the most, and their culture is more focused towards high energy working, radical thinking, competitiveness. Here, even though creativity is important, there isn’t heavy emphasis on it. But in case of advertising agencies, smaller companies or startups where employee count is on the lower side, the focus is on driving creativity through out-of-the-box thinking, teamwork and inclusion, in order for the business to succeed despite fewer resources than larger companies. Each company has its own set of priorities and their culture needs to be aligned accordingly. It is important that the decision makers are aware of this and that they communicate the business strategies and goals clearly in order to keep culture in check.
The Bottom Line
Culture is not something that can be built without leaning on the organisation’s business goals. The leadership teams must understand the nitty gritty of the industry - the current trends, the challenges, the occupational hazards, the cultural gaps, and what the future holds. At the same time, leaders must also identify the pain points and the strengths of their employees in order to build a positive, driven, people-first workplace culture.