There's a lot of talk about the benefits of a strong organizational culture, and increasing amounts of research to back it up. Great company culture can result in happier, more engaged employees, lower turnover, higher profitability, and even increased customer satisfaction.
But there is another benefit to consider as well. A strong culture will allow your organization more leeway when it comes to taking risks and making mistakes— two things that are critical to organizational growth.
Three key items must be present in the organization to earn this type of cultural latitude.
One thing that is quickly apparent in strong culture organizations is a high level of respect. Everyone genuinely appreciates the contributions of others in the organization. They take what they do very seriously, but they have fun doing it. And as good as they are at what they do, they all want to get even better.
In these companies, leadership makes the necessary investments for the team to be successful, and the sales crew is very appreciative of what has been provided. In this environment, there is no entitlement mentality. When there is a high level of respect, nobody wants to let anyone else down, and everyone is determined to perform at their highest levels. You can ask for more and the team will ask “how much more?”
Beyond the obvious upsides of such a culture, another less-obvious benefit becomes clear: The more a strong team culture fosters mutual respect, the more margin for error the leadership team has to work with.
When there is a high level of trust, people don’t waste time asking “Why?” They know decisions are being made for the right reasons. The reality is that trust largely comes because the organizational WHY is always clear and obvious. As a result, leadership isn’t forced to always look for the safe answer. A wider margin for error allows them to seek out the best answer.
Trust also helps create a less stressful, more secure, environment where people are free to be themselves and have some fun. When you’re having fun, you’re always willing to do that little extra to make a difference. And that little extra will almost always mitigate the perceived risks of trying something new.
When people appreciate what is being provided for them, they take the responsibility to make sure it gets protected. New investments are easy to make when you know they are appreciated and will be used effectively to generate a return.
When you have larger margin of error, you can flat-out take bigger chances.
Bigger chances deliver bigger results. Bigger results benefit everyone. When everyone benefits, the culture gets stronger. When the culture gets stronger, the margin for error increases. When the margin for error increases… well, you get the picture. ; )
Photo by Michael Parzuchowski