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How to Treat Company Culture as Strategy

Recognize This! – Company culture has more impact on business outcomes than any other factor.

Long-time readers of my blog know how passionate I am about the importance of a strong company culture of appreciation and how wise leaders use strategic employee recognition to proactively manage their company cultures.

SmartBlog on Leadership recently featured the results of a LRN survey on this topic. Key findings include:

  • 68% indicated that creating long-term value for the business is a principal benefit of promoting an ethical culture
  • Yet 57% are still not giving ethics the same weight as business outcomes in performance evaluations
  • 54% never formally celebrate acts of ethical leadership

LRN executive vice president David Greenberg suggests as a solution:

“Treat culture as a strategy: An ethical culture is not created by accident. It is deliberately crafted at many levels of the organization under the guidance of leaders who hard-wire it into the processes and practices by which business gets done.”

This is quite true. Doing just that – hard-wiring ethics and values into the daily work – is what many find challenging. The most effective and positive way of achieving this is through frequent, timely and appropriate recognition and appreciation. Strategic recognition uses the company values as the reasons for recognition, encouraging all employees at any level to frequently and very specifically recognize their colleagues and peers any time they demonstrate those values in their daily work.

This approach makes the values real for employees – not just a plaque on the wall. And the most success is achieved when this is encouraged from the CEO down through the ranks.

Winning with a Culture of Recognition, the book I co-authored with my CEO Eric Mosley, describes in much greater detail how you can build a culture of recognition based on your values so you can proactively manage your company culture to become what you want and need it to be.

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