Steps of Managing Organizational Culture

Steps of Managing Organizational Culture

Steps of Managing Organizational Culture

Step 1- Evaluate your current culture and performance

  1. Define your 1-3 critical performance priorities – e.g. growth, profitability, customer satisfaction, etc.;
  2. Identify your 3-5 value/behavior strengths and
  3. Identify no more than 1-3 value/behavior weaknesses that are holding back your organization from achieving its full potential with the performance priorities you defined.

Step 2- Clarify your initial vision

Define your vision for improving results with only one or two of the performance priorities from step No. 1 and how you will build a culture advantage by leveraging the value/behavior strengths and improving the weaknesses.

Clearly, communicate how you will work together to improve the weak areas since they are holding your organization back from supporting your purpose and stakeholders.

Step 3- Clarify values and expected behaviors

Define supporting expected behaviors for the 1-3 weaknesses that you identified in step #1.

These behaviors would be consistently exhibited in your organization if you were “living your values.” People interpret values from their own perspective so define expected behaviors like Zappos, The Container Store, and others.

Step 4- Clarify strategic priorities

Define and clearly share the 3-5 actionable strategic priorities that your organization will focus on to support the 1-2 performance priorities included in your initial vision from the Define steps.

If the performance priority is growth, will it be achieved through new products or services, revised sales strategies, growth with current customers, or other strategies. Employees want and need to understand the big picture.

Step 5- Engage your team in defining SMART goals

Engage your organization and utilize extensive feedback and prioritization to define the objectives that support each strategic priority. These goals need to define in a way to support the expected behaviors for the 1-2 weaknesses you identified from the Define steps. For example, if accountability is a weakness, goals should include more disciplined plans, measures, reviews, recognition, and other approaches to support the behavior you need.

Goals also need translating to all levels in larger organizations so people understand how to work on their goals and measures impacts the broader organization.

Step 6- Clarify and track key measures

Identify a small number of overall measures that support one or two top performance priorities from the Define steps. It may help to have one highly visible “unifying metric” even if some employees don’t directly influence it.

Step 7- Maintain a management system for priorities and goals

Most organizations have a system to track or monitor the status of priorities and goals. These reviews need adjusting to focus additional time and attention on the top performance priorities and value/behavior shifts identified in the Define steps. The focus must be on results and supporting the behavior shift through recognition, coaching, removing barriers, etc.

Step 8- Manage communication habits and routines

Transparent, genuine and consistent communication is needed about your performance improvement journey and the role of culture so all employees feel part of the process. Regularly scheduled sessions with two-way communication and extensive informal approaches are needed to emphasize expected behaviors and results. Use these sessions to clarify plans, answer questions, expose rumors and reduce drama.

Step 9- Build motivation throughout the process

Feedback and recognition are critical to the process. Share and celebrate progress in a transparent manner as a standard part of regular communication activities. Confront reality when improvements don’t go as planned and re-engage your team to prioritize adjustments.

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