Culture is often referred to as “the way things are done around here.” But to be useful, we need to get more specific than that. The best companies recognize that there are three elements to a culture: behaviors, systems, and practices, all guided by an overarching set of values.
A great culture is what you get when all three of these are aligned, and line up with the organization’s espoused values. When gaps start to appear, that’s when you start to see problems — and see great employees leave. If your best employees are leaving, take a hard look at your company. Find those gaps, and fix them. That way, you won’t have to hear talented people say, “I know it’s a great culture, but I am leaving.”
Great organisations and leaders know that the culture stuff is the hard stuff. Culture takes time to define. It takes work to execute. Yet, if the time is spent (1) really understanding the behaviors expected throughout the organization; (2) identifying the systems and processes that will continue to help those behaviors be expressed and sustained; and (3) shaping practices that help employees and the organisation become better, then you can close your culture gaps.
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