3 Beliefs to Build a Cohesion Culture™

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Daily interactions and nuances of its people contribute to the culture of all organizations. How we celebrate a birthday, a promotion or a life event with coworkers reflects our attempt to connect through an extrinsic activity. It is the core values and beliefs of people that establish the emotional connection coworkers have for each other and how they feel about the organization.

Not all work environments are viewed through rose-colored glasses

It would be remiss on my part to suggest that all people will equally embrace a Cohesion Culture™

Cohesion Culture™ is an environment where employees feel a sense of belonging, have value, and commit to the organization’s success. 

There isn’t any reason from either a fundamental or conceptual standpoint that an individual—regardless of generation, lifestyle or ethnicity—should reject the three aspects of cohesion: 1) belonging, 2) value and 3) commitment. 

A work culture created through cohesion is continuously in motion and always evolving

The impact of leadership upon the work environment cannot be understated, denied, or overlooked. Leadership focused on creating a Cohesion Culture™ is consistently supplying employees with access to learning, opportunities for collaboration, and engaging in social connectivity. A Cohesion Culture™ is more than just words to describe a work environment. It is the foundation from which leaders build an organizational strategy aimed to keep people now and into the future.

Success occurs when a culture of cohesion has been successfully integrated into the organization because people believe it is right, not because the leader said so.

My research suggests three fundamental beliefs lead to building successful cultures of cohesion:

  1. Cultural values based upon honesty.

These values are sourced from the truth and reflect the organization’s characteristics describing how people inside the organization act with each other and those outside the company’s four walls. Values are the organization’s basic ingredients and a successful recipe combines these ingredients to form that perfect blend of people, purpose, and commitment. 

For the most part, typical dysfunction within an organization occurs when people are not operating with honesty as a core value. Not because they woke up that morning to inflict pain on someone, but likely because the rigor of seeking the truth and acting in that manner requires effort.

2. Management supports the culture.

Without exception, it starts with the CEO. If the most senior leader of the organization does not speak life to the organization’s values, the culture will become fragmented, fractured, and failed. It’s not hard to recognize that if the CEO doesn’t support the core values, guiding principles or value statements, the organization overall will suffer. Both strategy and structure will become the culture’s main course.

 3. Live it, breathe it, and own it.

Fundamentally, “living it” means people observe the actions of leaders who demonstrate useful leadership characteristics and imitate those actions. “Breathing it” refers to how employees accept these cultural behaviors and values with the intent to integrate them into how they perform with and for others. “Owning it” is merely taking accountability and responsibility to uphold the organization’s value structure as if it were owned by the employee.

For the most part, individuals actively participating in extending the stories, traditions, and rituals of the culture to outlast their work history understand how to “live it, breath it, and own it.”.

What clues tell you the individuals in your culture are living it, breathing it, and owning it? What could you do to support a Cohesion Culture in your organization?

To learn more about the leadership values that can positively impact your team and create a Cohesion Culture™️, connect with Dr. Troy here.


Dr. Troy Hall is the Chief Strategy Officer for South Carolina Federal Credit Union, a $1.8B financial cooperative with over 165,000 members. With a Ph.D. in Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Troy has earned the designation as an International Development Educator. As the author of Cohesion Culture: Proven Principles to Retain Your Top Talent, his book showcases how and why South Carolina Federal Credit Union has been named a “Best Places To Work” by Glassdoor, the Credit Union Industry, and State of South Carolina.

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