How To Sustain A Good Company Culture

You know that happy employees make your company better in myriad ways, but is it possible to sustain that culture? Here are some expert tips to help.

Jenn Lim, the Co-Founder and CEO of Delivering Happiness, is an advocate for thinking and working differently. She extols the virtues of creating a positive team culture – with happy employees and a joint purpose – to boost the company’s profitability. In an article on work culture, Lim writes: “Innovators of today’s workplaces get it. To attract, retain and engage the people that make the biggest contribution to your company, culture is king.”

Whilst the notion of culture (and climate) has risen in awareness amongst execs, it is a hard one to get right long term. All too often, companies invest in initiatives like weekly massages, Friday drinks or the relaxation area and think that they’ve ticked the box for a positive culture. To sustain a healthy  team climate, you need to go beyond that.

Lim’s answer is to implement:

  • Strong values that employees embrace
  • Using data to maximise performance at both an individual and team level
  • Adopting an inspirational ‘higher purpose.’

Ensuring that these factors are implemented well and that staff are aligned with them is vital. How do you know? Staff engagement surveys can go some way to finding answers. The PCS diagnostic tool goes even further and will highlight the areas in which leaders and employees are aligned and those that need work. It can show exactly where to direct energy and resources, to boost happiness and improve the team climate. As Lim explains: “happier people in the workplace amount to increased retention, sales, productivity, creativity and – ultimately – profits.” 

Defining the company values and communicating that throughout the business is a key factor too. Be they conventional or distinct yet pertinent to your organisation, strong values that your people can live by make a big contribution to the climate in your workplace.

This is not an exercise to just implement and forget though. Once you’ve worked on the happiness factor, the team climate and productivity, you can’t afford to rest on your laurels. We recommend quarterly reviews of your teams to test the culture, to identify areas that need to be developed and to confirm those that are improving or work well. Or as Lim puts it so succinctly, ‘rinse, wash, repeat.’

Zac's Challenges:

Zac’s tech business is growing rapidly. He’s gone from being a developer with a good idea to now overseeing an ever-expanding team. Zac knows that in order for the business to grow successfully, it needs to stay true to its founding values and his staff need to feel valued and engaged. Zac wants to understand if he and his team are on the same page and he needs to do it quickly and cost effectively.

Zac's PCS Solution

Zac decides to use PCS Lite to get a quick temperature check of how his team are performing and what they think about the business. The PCS Lite report quickly surfaces the fact that his team have lost sight of the organisation’s purpose and goals. Zac realises that he needs to improve his on-boarding processes and help orientate the new team members better in the company culture and vision. 6 months later, Zac uses PCS Lite to check his new onboarding process is working; concludes that the growing team are much better aligned to his vision and are generally operating in a more positive working environment.

Annabel's Challenges:

It’s Annabel’s job to help the Partners in the firm manage their clients and ensure they’re consistently adding value. Recently, Annabel has been asked by one of the Partners to find a tool or framework that the consultants can use to benchmark new clients looking for team and leadership improvement programmes. It needs to be cost-effective, established and reputable and able to be branded with the firm’s own logo.

Annabel's PCS Solution

Annabel recommends PCS Pro to the Senior Partners as it provides an objective measurement of team and leadership climate against which the consultants can build performance improvement programmes. PCS has a good track record, academic validation, excellent training and customer service, so she’s confident that it’s the right tool for the firm’s consultants to use.

Sarah's Challenges:

Sarah has to keep across the multiple training and development needs in the organisation and do it within a tight budget. Recently, Sarah’s been asked to design a L&D programme that improves the staff retention rate and helps staff feel more engaged with the changes happening in the organisation, not least the shift to more flexible working.

Sarah's PCS Solution

Sarah uses PCS to measure how different teams across the organisation are performing and look at any patterns which suggest the need for organisation-wide, leader or team training. Sarah notices that all teams and leaders have a low climate score in the Processes segment. Sarah knows that allocating budget in this area will improve performance. She works with the Senior Management Team to review the organisation’s processes as they transition to more flexible working and designs a training programme to support staff in the transition. She’s helped staff to feel supported, acknowledged and engaged which ultimately drives performance. 

Jim's Challenges:

Jim’s client has a team that’s not performing as well other teams in the organisation. The team has a high staff turnover, sickness and the lack of cohesion is impacting the team’s wellbeing and performance. Jim needs to get to the bottom of why this is happening and design effective coaching interventions which can generate tangible results for his client.

Jim's PCS Solution

Jim uses PCS Pro to measure / benchmark how the team and leader are performing across the 6 segments critical to team performance – Goals, Roles, Processes, Adaptability, Connection and Resilience. He can immediately see the disparity in Goals, Processes and Connection between the leader’s perception and those of her team. He uses this information to build a coaching programme designed align team and leader. After 6 months, the team seems to be more settled and productive. Jim remeasures using PCS Pro – the results show the client the effectiveness of his coaching intervention.