Can you really systemise your business culture?

If we walked into your business and asked your employees to describe your company values, how confident are you that they could? The usual response (from companies we don’t work with!) is, “umm, let me just check the website” or if we are lucky the vision and values might be somewhere displayed on a wall – at worst the company doesn’t even have a set of values. What does this tell us about a business? Most likely that the leaders don’t see company culture as an important driver for commercial success.

Culture is an umbrella term which is often described simply in the world of business as ‘the things we do around here’. Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says “Culture does not make people. People make culture.” So, can you really systemise your approach to changing the culture in your business? The answer is yes.

Business owners with foresight understand that their working environment is a strategic asset linked to growth and not something extra. Businesses operating in this way build trust and confidence with employees, their customers, and other stakeholders.

Most likely you will have at some point in your business sat with a Marketing expert who has asked you what you liken your business brand to be if it were a person. Whilst creating your external brand is undoubtedly important, at DICE we believe that it is looking under the bonnet inside your business to see what makes it tick when the magic can really happen.

How do you want people to feel, act and behave in your business? Have you ever stopped and thought about that? How do people behave when you or other members of the leadership team are not in the room?

When we are working with a business owner who wants to proactively change their culture, this is where we start. Quite often we start compiling a list of behaviours we don’t want to see, or things that are frustrating the owner about the way people do their work (lack of accountability and ownership being number one almost always!).

We aren’t really into buzzwords here at DICE, but the phrase ‘Human Capital’ is one that is widely referred to in the HR world – recognising your employees as an asset in your business. Growing your business successfully relies on developing your human capital. The saying ‘The way you treat your staff today is the way they will treat your customers tomorrow’ brings this to life.

We work with business owners to help them develop values which outline the behaviours and ways of working they want to encourage. We go as deep as that business owner wants to, including outlining the mindset they want employees to express and sustain daily. We then work with that business owner to embed these behaviours by building them systematically into the way things get done. It is an approach that worked for Netflix (check out their famous Culture Deck to see how) and it will work for you too.

This is most successful when involving the whole leadership team and there is a collective responsibility to making it a success. Investing in the collective capability of the top team can impact the whole business as they support the development of others. You know when you are succeeding when the values expressed internally reaches your customers – that is when you have truly systemised your business culture.

If you would like help with systemising your culture and the way your people do things in your business – get in touch.

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