Week 9 DiscussionCOLLAPSE
Building a Growth Culture
In his article, Schwartz lists four individual and organizational components needed to build a growth culture at an organization. Pick two of the four components that could be improved at your workplace. Explain what is missing or ineffective in those two areas at your organization. Then, describe some specific steps that HR could take to improve those two components over the next one to two years.
Post your initial response by Wednesday, midnight of your timezone, and reply to at least 2 of your classmates’ initial posts by Sunday, midnight of your timezone.
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JWI 521 Recruit, Develop, Assess, Reward, Retain
Week Nine Lecture Notes
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A WINNING CULTURE What it Means The culture of a company is hard to define, but most employees will tell you that they know a good organizational culture when they experience it. Culture is inherent in the environment in which employees work, and it is expressed in the company’s mission, business practices, goals, expectations of its employees, and relationship with the wider community. It is the responsibility of business leaders to set the cultural values and behaviors for their company, and to embody those values and behaviors in their leadership style. A positive workplace culture is important because it will attract talented and committed people, enable productive business practices, foster innovation, and build employee engagement. While a company’s culture will always have some core features that persist, it must also be flexible enough to adapt and change over time, so as to remain relevant in today’s fast-changing marketplace.
Why it Matters
• A strong workplace culture attracts high-caliber candidates and supports retention of top talent • A positive culture drives engagement through shared values and behaviors in the workplace • Organizations with stronger cultures outperform their competitors financially
“Trust happens when leaders are transparent, candid, and keep their word.
It’s that simple.”
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WHAT IS CULTURE? Once you have hired excellent people and placed them in strategic positions, what determines whether they stay and succeed in your company? One key part of the answer is the organization’s culture. Does your company have a culture that allows high performers to try new things, develop professionally, learn from failure, and experience the rewards of success? To answer such questions, let’s look more closely at the concept of culture. What is culture and how do you cultivate a winning one? The organizational culture is the character or personality of a company. It defines the environment in which employees work. It comprises many elements, such as work environment, company mission, values, ethics, expectations, and goals. A positive workplace culture attracts talent, drives engagement, impacts employee satisfaction and affects performance. In other words, it enables your business to compete and win. Building a strong culture takes time and commitment, but is arguably the most important aspect of your workplace. It is important to remember that an organization’s culture, like an individual’s personality, is not a static entity. It is based on certain core beliefs and values, but it is must also grow and adapt over time. Grand ideas in a mission statement achieve nothing if they are not put into action. Culture is represented by the values that the people of the organization truly live by. To embody the company’s culture, leaders must understand and believe in the core values and behaviors of the organization, and they must hold themselves, their managers, and all employees to those values and behaviors every single day. Culture is what makes your business unique; it is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes at any given time in its history. When you understand this definition of culture, it becomes clear how important it is to define and express your company’s cultural values, and to put those values into action in your current business environment. It also becomes clear how critical it is to hire people who fit well into your culture, because their personal belief systems and values align with those of the organization.
WHAT MAKES A WINNING CULTURE?
While there are many successful companies, with varying cultural styles and missions, certain key elements can be identified that make for a strong and winning business culture. Trust
If you want to be trusted, you must demonstrate that you trust others. A culture of trust is imperative if your organization is to grow, innovate, and succeed in the marketplace. If you micro-manage your employees, it will directly conflict with the building of trust. What if they make a mistake? Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that they will make mistakes, but also that those mistakes can lead to valuable learning. Perfection is not a realistic or productive goal. Professional growth and application of lessons learned are much better goals. Check in regularly with your employees, but do not micro-manage them. Give them clear guidelines and then let them spread their wings.
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One critical element supporting positive employee engagement is the relationship between a manager and their direct report. This relationship is the linchpin of an engaged and satisfied workforce. Surveys suggest that 75 percent of people who choose to leave their job do so because of their boss, not the company. If your managers do not relate well to their people and manage them effectively, you can be certain that it is hurting your company culture, increasing turnover, and reducing your bottom line. At the same time, effective leadership by the executive team is vital because it sets the direction and tone for the whole organization, impacting employees at every level. Mission, Vision, and Values
Companies that clearly define the purpose of their work will attract and retain the best talent, and their workforce will develop a team spirit. It is the job of the executive leadership team to create and communicate a clear and inspiring mission, vision, and set of values. Leaders and managers should take the lead in expressing the company’s core values through their own actions and behaviors. Employees who are convinced of a larger common goal are people who are excited to work because they view their role as part of a larger purpose. Ownership and Growth
A strong company culture encourages employees to see their work as more than just a job that pays the bills. You want them to own their job and feel invested in their own ideas and their team’s ideas. If you build a collaborative, trusting environment, where employees feel invested in the organization’s success, they will bring ideas to the table. If an employee brings you a great idea, put them in charge of it, or involve them in the team that implements it! If an employee wants to learn something new, provide support for them to do it. Today’s successful companies do not hire people to remain in the same job indefinitely; they hire innovators who will contribute to the future of the company. Communication
This is a key area of culture and the one that is often neglected. The founder of a startup can be so focused on pursuing his or her idea, that communication with other people gets neglected. The executive team can become disconnected from the concerns and needs of the majority of their employees. In large companies with many departments, silos can develop, where different business units operate separately and lose touch with each other. When communication is poor, the business suffers operationally and financially. However, the importance of good communication goes beyond business targets and processes. The company’s cultural values must also be conveyed to employees. How is this to be done? To achieve this, communicate goals to your team based on the company’s mission. Demonstrate the company’s values in your leadership style through trust and candor. For example, if an employee is not performing well, don’t ignore the issue, but take action. Engage in thoughtful conversations about the challenges and create a plan for improvement. Be authentic and honest with your team. Have regular meetings with all of your direct reports to review plans and goals. And when your employee or your team has a win, be sure to celebrate!com/marla-tabaka/simple-trick-to-finding-extraordinary-employees.html”>https://www.inc.com/marla-tabaka/simple-trick-to-finding-extraordinary-employees.html
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GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THIS WEEK’S CLASS
As you read the materials and participate in class activities, stay focused on the key learning outcomes for the week:
• Understand the importance of culture in attracting and retaining top talent A top performer who feels aligned with the mission and values of their company is far less susceptible to job offers from the competition. Is this factor in hiring and retention well-understood at your organization? Is the company culture used as an inducement to attract and retain high performers? If so, how does this happen? Is the culture implied in the wording of job descriptions? Are new hires assessed for their fit with the culture, as well as other desirable traits like relevant skills and experience? Is there a pipeline of top performers aligned with the company culture to fill future leadership positions? If not, what could HR do to support change in this area?
• Discuss how companies can retain high-performing employees Your top performers are a valuable resource, and your competitors think so, too. They will try to attract your top people to come and work for them. What will it take to retain your top talent? Promotions and pay raises can only do so much, since there is always another company out there that is willing to offer more money. This is where intangibles such as the company culture, opportunities for leadership, challenging projects, freedom to innovate, and recognition can be important. Does your company use these tools effectively to retain its high-performing employees? If not, how could HR help to raise awareness of such non-financial retention tools?
• Explore what factors create a healthy and strong organizational culture Take a look at your own organization’s culture, as expressed in the company mission, values, leadership practices, traditions, goals, and expectations. Do you consider it to be a positive and strong workplace culture? If so, what makes it successful? If not, what required factors are lacking? Since there is always room for improvement, how can the positive aspects of your culture be reinforced? How will the culture need to adapt to keep your company competitive and strong in the future? How can you keep the organization’s core cultural values intact, while remaining flexible enough to meet future challenges in your industry and sector?