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addition, new hires go through an onboarding process
that connects them with several departments. This fosters a
deeper understanding of the organization, and organically
encourages a family-oriented, open dialogue environment.
of staff. It needs to be reinforced and encouraged at all
levels. When leadership and management embody the
traits that contribute to the culture you are cultivating, and
encourage those traits in their employees, culture begins to
flow through the fabric of daily life.
Inevitably, there will be challenges while instilling a specific
culture. Sofillas stresses that transparency is the key to
overcoming these inevitable challenges. ECORE practices
an open door policy, and employees are regularly kept
up to date on happenings in the company. Staying "inthe-know" keeps employees connected and engaged. In
Kauffman agrees. During BB&T's recent expansion into
new markets, the addition of new employees, new clients
and communities posed a challenge to communicating the
bank's culture to this broad array of individuals. To combat
this expected challenge, senior leadership conducted a
50 city Mission Tour, visiting 39,000 bank associates to
talk about vision, mission and values in an interactive,
town hall setting. In addition, the company mission, vision
and values are regularly reviewed at staff meetings at all
levels and reinforced in senior leadership communications
company-wide. In this way, these time-tested values are
always accessible for all employees, and each person is
encouraged to use them in every day's interactions.
It may not be a simple process, but there's no doubt that
an intentional culture will have a positive impact for your
employees, and in turn, your customers. LT
BY SARAH MASER,
Executive Assistant, Lancaster Chamber
Contact Sarah at
TIPS FOR BUILDING YOUR COMPANY CULTURE
Whether you realize it or not, you have already created an internal culture. How that culture develops from this
point forward is largely dependent on the degree of consideration and conscious intent you bring to the process.
You can start by gathering some key leaders and stakeholders to address the following questions.
Then generate simple action steps.
1. Have we discovered and clearly articulated our core
purpose (aka, "mission") and core values?
* These elements form the foundation of
* Built to Last, by Collins and Porras, is a great
resource to help you do this.
2. How are we communicating purpose and values
through our words and behavior?
3. How can we model culture from the top?
4. How can we adjust our hiring processes to better
assess culture fit, and our onboarding processes to
fortify that alignment from day one?
5. How can we strengthen culture through the things
we reward and punish, the stories we tell, and
the heroes we make?
6. Where are the gaps between our stated culture and
our actual behavior?
* Hint: Make it safe for people to tell you the truth, ask
a few good questions, then prepare to listen.
7. How can we stay on it, so that assessing and
advancing our culture becomes a way of life rather
than a project?
* Hint: You've probably found a way to watch your
finances and productivity. Maybe you can apply
similar methods to culture.
BY ROB SKACEL, PhD,
Business Psychologist, True Edge
Performance Solutions, LLC
Contact Rob at