When an employee decides to leave your organization because he/she is not a good fit for your culture, should you be concerned? That depends – Is the culture of your organization ideal for your business, or is it a runaway train about to derail?
We can easily decipher this by doing a quick litmus test. Do the following items ring true for you?
1. Organizational alignment is critical for sustaining a healthy culture.
2. A culture that is open, with two-way communication between staff and manager, is ideal for facilitating employee self-awareness and personal growth.
3. Your key, most productive employees demonstrate a good culture fit.
How’d you do?
In my opinion, you must combine all three of these areas to equal results.
In our firm we’ve tried it all, from leadership assessments to executive coaching. As the managing partner of a business consulting, IT and CPA firm, it feels like I have tried just about everything with my partners and managers to help us become better leaders. Then one day it hit me – without individual buy-in to a common vision, even the best leaders will struggle to accomplish even the simplest of goals. Leaders struggling to accomplish simple goals? How can that be?
When the organization is misaligned, despite the level of effectiveness of leadership, it will rob the organization of the consistency it needs to execute on internal and external processes, including your client service model. There are many forces that can create a dysfunctional culture and organizational alignment is at the top of the heap.
Put strategies into practice. It is one thing to talk about having an open culture, but it becomes a driving force in your organization when you actually put those strategies into practice, continue to assess their effectiveness, and make changes as needed.
Let’s explore a few ways to open up your culture and encourage communication. We have implemented numerous open culture strategies including hosting monthly staff meetings, semi-annual meetings with the entire firm, and low key Q & A sessions with the managing partner. We conduct employee satisfaction surveys, and strive to go beyond the open door policy with leadership taking a proactive approach to obtaining employees’ feedback. These initiatives foster a two way stream of information, with employees of all levels enabled to air their views and concerns in a format in which they feel comfortable expressing themselves, while leadership takes the opportunity to keep employees informed on what’s occurring with the firm.
This transparency and sharing of knowledge and opinions allows people to have a stronger sense of ownership of their involvement in the organization. Implementing these simple opportunities are essential to creating a workplace where people feel valued and where they understand that their views are being heard.
Key Employees & Culture
An important internal aspect to achieve is the connection of your culture with your key, most productive employees. There are numerous benefits of having your best employees be the ones who also are tightly aligned with the culture you are nurturing.
Your top producers normally are the ones taking on new projects, making important decisions, and potentially moving up in the organization. The fact that the optimum culture is along for the ride is paramount to building the best organizational environment.
That culture filled with aligned key employees will then permeate throughout your company and the positive repercussions are where the real benefits reside. The rest of your team knows who these stars are, and will subconsciously follow their lead. Organizational management cannot be there every step of the way pushing employees in the right direction, there will always be some responsibility placed on each team member. If there is an organic shift from within towards a culture fit, that drives your overall strategies for you.
The benefits of having an aligned and open culture are substantial. Better employee engagement results in increased job satisfaction and has helped us maintain low employee turnover in an industry where employee turnover is notoriously high. In addition, we have seen an increase in innovation around how we can serve our clients better, thus leading to higher client satisfaction and subsequent business advantages.
Article Provided By Kathy Davis, CPA, CGMA MKS&H Managing Partner.
McLean, Koehler, Sparks & Hammond (MKS&H) is a professional service firm with offices in Hunt Valley and Frederick. MKS&H helps owners and organizational leaders become more successful by advising them regarding their financial, technology and human capital management needs.