As a manager, it can be hard to identify concrete steps to improve your company culture. While it’s easy to think of abstract phrases to describe the environment we want to create — “positive,” “innovative” and “creative” — it can be harder to translate those ideas into actions.
Behavior scientist Darren Hill suggests identifying a specific behavior that corresponds with a cultural trait. For example, if “respect” is the trait you want to demonstrate, its corresponding behavior might be: “speaking to all levels of employees the same way.” Breaking down a cultural value into the actions it requires makes it attainable for every employee and manager.
“Cultures are only strong when people understand the consistent behaviors required to belong,” Hill writes in Business Review Weekly. “The problem? Too many workplaces have a set of traits on the wall, yet have a different set of behaviors on the floor.”
In other words, if you want to implement cultural change, it’s not enough to just tell your team. We recently discussed on this blog how unclear job expectations are one of the top professional stressors. In that same vein, you need to identify specific actions you’d like to see (or not see) at work and provide employees and management with concrete examples to foster those shifts in behavior.
FOX Business also recommends offering your team opportunities for continued employee development training programs. Investing in your employees makes them more likely to invest in the workplace, putting in the effort necessary to change the company culture. Inexpensive and easy-to-use training courses from Mastery Technologies can help you address a wide range of issues, from encouraging safer practices in high-risk fields to improving general leadership and teamwork skills.