Last week I made the point that for companies to perform at a high level, for a continued period of time, they need to be both smart and healthy. When a company’s culture has minimal politics and confusion, it becomes the multiplier for business because people are productive and they want to be there.
So who exactly is responsible for implementing climate and culture within an organisation? “Well, the human resources department,” you might say.
I have no doubt that the typically caring individual you find within an HR team would love to spend energy on this. Oh wait! Their capacity is already stretched trying to stay on top of recruitment processes, benefits and compensation, legal compliance, training and development, job analysis, job design, and performance management.
And then, even if HR had capacity they often aren’t skilled or experienced in what it takes to create a healthy culture.
Many of the top tech companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Denver Area (think Box, Square, Lyft, Culture Amp, Carbon Five, Slack and SendGrid) have completely repurposed and reskilled their HR function. Now often called People Experience, these companies have created a dedicated role to focus on culture and even diversity and inclusion (called D&I). This, of course, didn’t happen overnight and they needed outside help initially.
If we really want to change our organisations, we need to make them healthier by prioritising and spending time on organisational health, not just smarts.
What are you willing to give up to build a healthy culture in your organisation?
You may initially have to pass on business opportunities so you can allocate your resources and focus on the important things.
I’ve seen some companies make promises to new clients without the capacity to deliver on those promises, which meant that engineering departments forced their employees into burnout in order to make good on the commitments.
Make sure your house is in order before acquiring more, otherwise you may find yourself losing what you already have.
And, if you need help, check out my services – you might just find a solution to a problem. At the very least, you’ll find a partner for the journey.
One of my favourite quotes of all time is by Patrick Lencioni: “I believe that organizational health is the single greatest competitive advantage, the single greatest opportunity for transformational improvement that any organization has. It is free, it’s accessible to anyone who really wants it and yet it remains virtually untapped in most organizations.”
In my next post, I”ll look at millennials in the workplace…
Note: I initially planned to write about millennials in the workplace but recent events compelled me to write on the topic of South African’s living and working abroad because it is so relevant in my personal life.