Creating a strategic culture

How do you ensure your culture aligns with your hiring and business results? The best starting point is a culture wheel. This framework is made up of six “spokes”:

  1. Define the culture. Determine what values everyone in the company holds dear, then ask yourself whether what’s written in the employee handbook is what’s actually played out in the workplace. The most successful and authentic cultures are based on the company’s strategy and the behaviors needed to execute it. 
  2. Demonstrate cultural values. As a leader, it’s important to practice what you preach—not just to your colleagues, but also to people outside of your company.
  3. Educate employees and recruits. Make sure your people understand and embrace your culture, and that candidates know what they’re signing up for. Everyone wants to be a good fit, but culture isn’t one size fits all—being clear about it makes everyone happy in the long run.
  4. Hold employees accountable for aligning with culture. Setting goals related to culture is just as impactful as setting goals on quantitative business results. It also ensures culture is purposeful and top of mind.
  5. Reinforce and celebrate culture. Award people who exude your cultural values and hold them up as examples within your organization. Whether this is formal or organic, public or private, making an effort to recognize cultural champions will energize employees to follow suit.
  6. Revisit your culture. As a company evolves and changes, culture should change with it. Keep a pulse and measure employee engagement to see whether the culture is healthy and aligned with the company strategy. 

Laying this groundwork will help you clarify and uphold a strong, purposeful culture.

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