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 outward activity. It is the core values and beliefs of people that establish the truthful emotional connection coworkers have for each other and how they feel about the organization. My research suggests three fundamental beliefs can lead to building successful cultures of cohesion: honesty, management support, and owning it.
Cohesive Work Cultures Are Constantly Evolving
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.
Also, the impact of leadership upon the work environment cannot be understated, denied, or overlooked. Leadership focused on creating a Cohesion Culture™ is constantly supplying employees with access to learning, opportunities for collaboration, and engaging in social connectivity.
Overall success occurs when a culture of cohesion has been integrated into the organization because people believe it is right, not because the leader said so.
Here are the three fundamental beliefs for a successful culture of cohesion:
1. Cultural values are based upon honesty
These values are sourced from the truth and reflect the organization’s characteristics describing how people inside the workplace 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. If the CEO does not 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, breath it, and own it
Fundamentally, “living it” means people observe the actions of leaders who demonstrate effective 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 simply 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 timeline 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 culture of cohesion in your organization?