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Culture. We hear it everywhere. But other than “traditions, customs and throwing a plate against the wall when we’re done eating,” what does culture really mean in the context of a business setting? Let’s explore.
What is Culture?
Culture is defined in example 5.c. of Merriam-Webster as “The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.”
Let’s think about this for a moment. If everyone in your organization is doing their own thing beyond the company’s shared vision & values, then has the company truly succeeded in building culture? The answer is a resounding “no”.
Culture doesn’t suddenly appear because you want it to, or because Google has one. It can’t be ‘labeled’ into existence through opinion, nor “wished” into existence. Culture is arrived at through consistency and alignment in thought & action, consideration of people & practice, and implementation of policy & procedure. But where do you start, when you decide you want to have a cool company culture?
Start here: Assess your leaders with a profile tool that takes Culture into consideration. With so many overlapping attributes, it is difficult to determine a person’s culture without peering into their blind spot, so you can hear what they aren’t saying. Everyone won’t have the same results, so this is where you take your next step and compare the leadership team’s culture to the company “why” to start determining the emerging culture of the organization. What policies have you put in place for your team members, your clients, your programs? What philosophies, employee perks, general attributes does your entire team agree on, or at least not resist?
Culture can be Collaborative, Controlled, Competitive or Creative. However, what makes a culture that much more interesting are the elements of a subculture within a company’s main culture. This is something that you MUST pay attention to in your company. Once you figure out what kind of culture you have it helps you structure everything from the workday to rewards and praise. Knowing your culture will help you better understand your employees and your company as a whole.
Culture matters. Culture shows itself in the motivations, values, behaviors and best practices of a franchise organization. We’ve all seen the frustration someone faces when they part of an organization where they are a cultural misfit. Making sure your franchisees fit in the company’s culture is critical for their ultimate satisfaction and performance.
On culture: “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company
“Hire great people and give them freedom to be awesome.” – Andrew Mason, Founder, Groupon
“Determine what behaviors and beliefs you value as a company, and have everyone live true to them. These behaviors and beliefs should be so essential to your core, that you don’t even think of it as culture.” – Brittany Forsyth, VP of Human Relations, Shopify
About the author: Tracy Kawa is the relationship manager of Zoracle Profiles. She strives to help franchisors create better relationships and strategy using the suite of customizable psychometric assessments that Zoracle offers. Zoracle’s SpotOn! meta-analysis provides insight no singular profile, survey, algorithm or assessment can. Our SpotOn! science determines franchisee-franchisor compatibility and predicts performance. Zoracle reduces recruitment and support costs while increasing franchisee validation and performance.