These six tips will help you create a culture of trust and collaboration that will benefit your employees as well as your company.
1. Defining your values
People want to believe they are part in something important, that they contribute to a common cause.
Therefore, corporate culture must be deeply rooted within your company's core values and purpose.
Customers and employees will not line up to join your company if you only offer the best products and services. People should feel part of a culture that offers a positive experience. When people say they want to be part this organization, it is a sign that you have created positive corporate culture.
Rubis also stated, "Your employees must feel great about their work."
2. Be authentic
Rubis also noted that authenticity is the key to buying in.
As Rubis says, corporate leadership at all levels of an organization must be "fiercely, personally accountable."
You can only earn the trust and buy-in of your employees by committing to the values you set.
"If you, an employee, feel that integrity is being declared by the top of your organization, and if the top of your organization believes in these values deeply, and reinforces them, then you will feel you are genuinely moving forward a purpose for good reason."
Your leadership team must be able to communicate and act on the values to create real cultural change.
3. Create listening posts
Rubis says that listening to your company is crucial.
You can collect qualitative and anecdotal data about your culture by setting up listening points throughout your company. Listening carefully will confirm that your culture motivates your employees or alert you to potential signs that you might need to change.
For example, surveys measuring engagement, trust and culture can be powerful tools to collect honest feedback from your team.
You can also use quantitative data to show that your culture works in your favor, such as low turnover, high retention rates, easy hiring quality talent and high customer engagement.
However, it is important to not rely on only indirect listening posts. It is important to communicate effectively and in a meaningful way with the client throughout the process.
Meetings, workshops, conferences, working groups, and one-on-one meetings allow you to communicate your values from the top while simultaneously monitoring the pulse of the entire organization.
4. For alerting you to culture trends in the negative direction, listening posts are crucial. Rubis points out, "If your organization is a listening one, there are always canaries at the coal mines."
For example, high employee turnover is a sign that your company culture is not working.
Regardless of the external signs, the root problem lies in the lack or psychological safety. Employees don't feel secure expressing concerns, reporting problems, being proactive or creative, taking risks, or encouraging innovation.
Silence is one of the best indicators that employees in your company don't feel safe. Rubis says that a silent organization is the most dangerous.
You have to be open to criticism. It is important to be open to criticism and not defensive. You must be able to look away and admit that something is wrong.
It is easy to dismiss criticisms as merely opposition to change or the negative attitude of dissatisfied employees. Leaders who are successful must transcend that gut reaction.
To build psychological safety, trust must be rebuilt and your actions should align with your corporate values.
5. Learn from your mistakes
Rubis states that mistakes are a great way to learn and allow your team to try new things and invent.
Your culture will be strengthened or destroyed by how your leadership team deals with mistakes.
It is a great place to begin, admitting that mistakes will occur. It is important for executives to be able admit that mistakes will happen. Rubis points out that employees can expect great leadership but not perfect leadership.
Examine the circumstances in which you made the mistake. You can learn valuable lessons by reviewing the context in which a particular error was made.
Only then will you be able to promote an environment of creativity, risk-taking, and innovation.
6. Keep an eye out for trends
Companies are not static. The process of changing culture is also never static.
Rubis says, "It's iterative. It's messy."
It is important to build momentum in a positive direction.
Because each small step you take is a systemic action and creates a movement. Every small step builds on the previous ones, moving you forward. The reverse can also be true, in that movement can become toxic if it isn't controlled.
You should never stop listening to the messages they are sending you once you have created your listening posts.
Your engagement surveys, trust indicators and retention numbers should all confirm that you are creating momentum. There will be mistakes and false starts, but the important thing is to identify trends that are helping you move forward.
Be alert for "canaries" in the coal mine, as momentum can also snowball in the opposite direction.