The term ‘Organizational Culture’ was coined by Elliott Jaques in 1951 in his book ‘The Changing Culture of a Factory.’ Since then, the concept has continued to evolve and has become a top priority for organizations. 

According to an SHRM report, 94% of HR managers agree a positive workplace culture creates a team of resilient employees. Moreover, according to the FlexJobs 2022 Survey, toxic company culture is the No.1 reason people quit their jobs. 

But you probably know this. 

So, how do you improve your company’s culture and make it more positive and productive?

Today, I will attempt to break it down for you- without any jargon- trying to keep it as simple as possible. 

Let’s call it the 4 pillars of Building an Organizational Culture. 

The Company Workplace Culture Quaternity

Oops, I used jargon. But wait, there’s a reason I used the word quaternity. That’s because these principals don’t work in silos. You have to unite them to see the real magic. 

Let’s look at them all.

1. Communication

An environment that encourages honest communication is the perfect breeding ground for trust and transparency. 

Employees feel safer in a culture where communication revolves around recognition, gratitude, and appreciation. Moreover, a transparent culture makes employees agile and enables organizations to tackle challenges and transitions effectively. 

How to Improve Communication at Workplace?

  • Build a rapport with the employees
  • Regularly schedule one-to-one sessions and team meetings
  • Give and receive feedback positively
  • Be an active listener
  • Deploy an app for employee communication

2. Purpose

Employees are more engaged and dedicated to their work when their personal purposes align with the organization’s vision. 

Thus, identifying company purpose and sewing it into the organization’s fabric is key to building a positive workplace culture. Clearly define the company’s vision and mission, and consistently reinforce and remind the message to never lose sight of the ultimate objective. 

How to Create Impactful Company Purpose?

  • Find your passion
  • Connect it to underlying problems of the world
  • Anchor it to something that you and your employees care about
  • Define the target audience
  • Identify things that separate you from your competitors

3. Success

Without consistent growth and success, honest communication and a well-aligned purpose won’t serve long.  

The failure could be due to your product/service, marketing strategy, or bad money management. But no matter the reason, even the most positive culture doesn’t stand a chance if the company constantly fails. 

How Can Organizations Achieve Consistent Results?

  • Split bigger goals into smaller, achievable objectives
  • Foster a healthy level of ambition
  • Communicate business goals to the entire team
  • Constantly look for opportunities to grow your business
  • Hire the right talent

4. Leadership

Leaders are responsible for setting the agenda, prioritizing workflow, managing, leading, and delegating. All of these aspects have a considerable role to play in the organizational culture. 

By providing a sense of purpose, vision, inspiration, and mentorship, leaders can positively influence the company culture and keep the employees aligned with the broader goals. Conversely, if the leadership fails at inspiring and motivating, it could lead to a toxic workplace culture that causes distress among the employees. 

How to Improve Your Leadership Skills?

  • Improve your interpersonal skills
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Work on your body language and communication skills
  • Empower teammates by delegating tasks
  • Look for professional training programs

Acing the Company Culture Challenge by Uniting these Pillars

Building a positive company workplace culture is all about making small but consistent changes. But as no two organizations are the same, you’ll have to customize your workplace strategy according to your company’s challenges, opportunities, and objectives for the best results. 

However, you will have to bring all of these pillars together to make it work. Even if one of these is missing, the other will fall or, at best, be overburdened. 

  • If you’re missing communication- purpose won’t reach the far end of the organization, or no one will know what you’re trying to achieve or what the leadership truly stands for. 
  • If you’re missing purpose, your communication will have no meaning, the success will not take you far, and the leadership will have no sense of direction.
  • If you’re missing success, your purpose is nothing but wishful thinking, your communication will lack direction, and leadership will not be able to keep everything and everyone together.
  • If you’re missing leadership, the communication will be ineffective, the purpose itself may not be well-thought-out, and success is not whole. 

So that’s it. 

You might think there can be more complications to this equation, and you can be right.

But, I believe, if you actually do it right, it is that simple. 

The key is to bring all of these pillars together. 

What do you think?