The 5 Building Blocks of Culture

In most businesses today, everyone is familiar with the concept of “Culture” but very few people understand how a culture develops in an organization. While every company has a culture, very few organizations are proactively building a culture based on intention. You need building blocks of culture to enhance productivity in the workplace.  The following list will provide you with the building blocks that you can use to direct your culture to a place that works best for you.

1. Shared Values

Values are the principles that matter most to an organization and a person. They are at the core of your mission or vision statements. Values can take the form of a single word, but they are best used with a definition that explains in greater detail what that word means. It is very important to note that Shared Values are very different from just having a company mission statement or a list of company values. Company values are only ½ of the equation. To have shared values, the employees must “share” those values espoused by the company. If you don’t have a set of company values, start here for your first of the five building blocks of culture.

2. Communication, Language and Symbols

Every company and industry has a dialect, language, and symbols as unique as the products or services it provides. This is an important aspect of the second of the five building blocks of culture. Communication becomes much more efficient if everyone in a company is up to speed with the shared language used by the industry and within the company. However, a lack of understanding can result in confusion and mistakes.

Make sure to include training information on the language used at your company when you hire new employees, and cultivate an environment of respect. Doing this will ensure that current employees feel comfortable asking questions and seeking clarification. To create the culture that you desire, it is necessary to provide some ground rules for communication.

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3. Habits of Effectiveness

Companies are built on the effectiveness and innovation of individual employees. Understanding best practices of star performers and promoting habits that increase effectiveness will benefit the company and its culture.

Habits of effectiveness generally include prioritization, daily planning, accountability, effective delegation, and regular goal setting. To meet your company’s precise needs, incorporate these habits into your professional workday and cultivate customized habits. This will help you create your 5 building blocks of culture.

4. Rituals and Routines

Rituals and routines is a fancy way of saying recurring meetings and regular events, which is the fourth out of the five building blocks of culture. How do the recurring meetings in your office support or detract from the culture you want to create? By scheduling regular sales meetings or project reviews, you can create a cadence of accountability that keeps people and projects on course.

Regular routines offer discipline and allow employees to effectively manage their energy and focus on what’s important. Good routines can be extremely productive because they require minimum engagement in order to achieve maximum results. One word of caution here; don’t let the regular nature of a meeting allow it to become unproductive. You must remain diligent to make sure meetings stay productive.

5. Systems and Processes

Scalable systems and processes within a company allow productivity to thrive. The right systems and processes streamline tasks and increase efficiency. Every company has unique systems and processes that suit their specific goals. Professional chefs use assembly line tactics to make sure food is prepared in a timely fashion, while companies that interact with regularly with many customers use CRM software to effectively manage their interactions with customers.

This list barely scratches the surface for each of these 5 building blocks and each one can take months or years to master. However, by focusing regularly on these five areas and applying efforts to direct your culture based on these levers, you will be on your way to proactively & intentionally creating a winning “Culture of Productivity” for your company or organization.

If you’d like to read more on company culture, we suggest a couple other blog posts from us.