Company culture is trending news in all industries. Recently, both Uber and United Airlines have been cited in the news as having culture problems. Why is culture so important? The bottom line is that culture affects a company’s bottom line!
Many studies have proven that a strong, positive company culture produces beneficial financial results. Even exacting academics who cannot bring themselves to proclaim culture as the “cure-all for what ails you” nevertheless admit that it matters. For every CFO who might be skeptical about the benefit of focusing on company culture, here are four impressive research studies that prove that culture affects your financial success:
This helpful article in Prime Women, "The Secret to Having a Productive Day", written by me, and is adapted from a section of my book Your Company Culture Ecosystem: Growing a Vibrant Business. You can buy a copy on Amazon and Barnes & Noble-- Link for my book here.
Interesting article on company culture. Note especially the comments about the importance of leadership in building a culture!
You can read the article here!
Building trust in their organizations is a concern for many leaders today. organizations Trust increases productivity, employee engagement and energy at work, while reducing burnout and stress. In this article the author lists nine steps to building trust that include recognizing excellent performance, providing reasonably challenging goals, offer autonomy in doing work and many more! Being an armchair scientist, I appreciated Zak's research on the link between the neurochemical ocytocin and trust.
You can read the article here.
What office doesn’t have a kitchen in it? It’s inconceivable to design a modern office without a special room or corner that holds a refrigerator, microwave and coffee pot. And that is because of the universal human desire to share food in a communal setting. For millennia, human beings have gathered around food for nurturance, conversation and community. Sharing food at a common table is such a basic human need that scientists give it a fancy name: “commensality”. Commensality has been shown to bond people together and to create intimacy that can’t be achieved in any other way. The act of sharing food is so powerful that leaders should consider how to use food routines to embed and symbolize their corporate culture.
Usually when we think of building a positive company culture, we think of sharing noble ideas: values, vision, common purpose, goals, people policies and practices. These are intangible means to building a culture, appealing to team members’ hearts and mind. What about involving the physical body in symbols of a positive culture? If a leader really wants to embed a culture in team members, food is a vehicle to consider. Food ingested into the body becomes nutrition for cells, organs, bones and muscles. In addition, food is related in our experience to pleasure, nurturance, socialization and inclusion. In designing impactful routines that will bond a team and translate into symbols of the culture, food traditions are paramount.
Are you tired of being told to work smarter, when you don’t know how? “I can’t work any more hours than I am right now!” is a refrain I hear too often from my clients. It seems that everyone is trying to deal with increasing workloads, reduced staffing levels and a tight budget. I wanted to find out what the latest research is discovering about how to enhance productivity. Here are some surprisingly new – and a few not-so- new – ideas from recent research on productivity enhancers. In this article, I cite several authors, but my favorite book of late is Chris Bailey’s The Productivity Project. Over the course of a year, Bailey researched and personally experimented with many productivity systems and published the results in this book. It’s a fun and informative read.
All women mentors want to take their responsibility seriously. But what does that mean?There are some simple things that you can do to make your time with your mentee valuable and rewarding to both of you. Read more of my blog on PRIMEWOMEN.com!
Companies that get positive press for their great cultures are usually in cutting-edge industries like Google and Apple, or high profile companies like Southwest Airlines and Container Store. Who would think that a very large manufacturing company could build a people-centric culture when most of their employees are assembly-line workers? Finding such a company convinces me again that any company can build a positive, perform-enhancing culture.
The book that inspired me is Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for your People like Family by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia1. This book documents the journey of Barry-Wehmiller, a capital equipment and engineering consulting firm that was close to shutting down in the mid 1970’s when Bob Chapman became CEO. Within a year of his taking the reins, the company turned a profit and hasn’t looked back since. Through multiple acquisitions, it has grown to be a global player in large equipment manufacturing. Key to their success is their culture, summed up in the statement, “We measure success by the way we touch the lives of people.” Commitment to their people inspired a leadership style called Truly Human Leadership. Growth has not changed their people-centric culture. Indeed, they have created a system to replicate great culture in every company they acquire.
There are 5 lessons that I’d like to share with you from this company’s system of building and maintaining an excellent culture:
Listen to Kristin's interview below, and check out her page on The Next Level's site.
Unconscious gender bias is a problem for companies. Today, unconscious gender bias is pervasive and embedded in the systems, structures and cultures of our organizations. Researchers call this “second generation” gender bias, and it operates unseen, beneath the consciousness of both men and women. This bias creates the glass ceiling, the mysterious barrier that denies women access to top levels of management, and costs companies millions of dollars in unwanted turnover, poor decision-making and reduced profits.
Most biases of any type are unintentional. Even good-hearted people have biases. The human brain is wired to instantly identify situations or people as “safe” or “dangerous”. This works well for us when we are walking down a deserted street after dark – we need to label things as safe or dangerous and take immediate, almost unconscious action - but it doesn’t serve us so well in the increasingly diverse workplace. We are all victims of the cultural messages and upbringing of our society in which men and women have traditionally held separate and different roles. Unfortunately, those messages manifest in unfair treatment of women and minorities and sometimes even men. There is no shame or blame in talking about unconscious bias because we all suffer from some type of biased thinking.
From the Desk of