What’s on the Wall, Doesn’t Walk Down the Hall

Organizational culture is often thought of as immeasurable, fluffy and non-critical in the eyes of many bottom-line-focused executives. Boy, are they off…way off!

Turnover Costs

Yes, operations and sales have to be in good standings to keep a company relevant, but in today’s post-recession economy, human capital and talent management are becoming more essential to the success of all organizations, as turnover costs are skyrocketing for those who can’t retain good talent.

What is Company Culture?

When I ask most executives about their company culture, they share their vision, mission and value statements. That’s not it! What unwritten playbook do the employees live by? What are new hires surprised by when they come on board, or what makes them “outsiders” until they’ve learned “the way we do things?” That’s your culture!

Not in the Handbook

Company culture can’t be put into an employee handbook (although much of what’s put in there can have an impact on it). How do people behave and what’s the response when a rogue employee goes another direction? Does your staff self-police? Are some traditions upheld without a thorough understanding of why it began in the first place?

Changing Course

Worse yet is when a new hire with a strong personality comes into the organization and shifts the culture without the business owner’s knowledge or understanding of its potential impact. One highly-charismatic (or highly toxic) employee can lead people in a direction that does not match the business owner’s vision.

Be Intentional

Bottom line – leaders need to be intentional about creating and upholding their company culture. They need to consider their culture throughout the hiring process, on-boarding and when selecting supervisors and managers, who could have the greatest effect on its trajectory. Just because you put up a poster with your intent, doesn’t mean your employees live by it. What’s on the wall, doesn’t walk down the hall!

Need Help?

Crescendo Strategies’ data gurus are experts at identifying and measuring company culture. Clients work with our HR strategies to better align their cultures when they have slipped off the business owners’ intended paths. Contact Cara today to share your story and determine if there’s a fit for Crescendo to get your organization back on track to retain your talent.

Author: Cara Silletto, MBA, is the Founder & President of Magnet Culture, a Crescendo Strategies company.

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