Communicating Culture: 7 Steps to Success

Culture

August 8, 2017

Ayleigh Henderson

X min

5 min

Your company’s culture is its guiding beacon. Without direction, your team can fall off course or drift apart; potentially, leading to disengagement and turnover. While there are numerous suggestions for what your culture should look like, let's focus on how you’re communicating it.

Communicating Culture: 7 Steps to Success
No items found.

Table of Contents

Take a moment to think about your last meeting; maybe it was with your team, your superiors, or your board. Try to remember what you talked about.

Most likely, it was the “hard” side of business – product or service enhancements, financials, and corporate goals. Of course, these aspects of the organization are discussed often, because they are crucial to maintaining your organization’s status in the market.

What is not as readily discussed is the “soft” side of business.The soft side of business refers to the company’s culture, morale, and employee value proposition. Creating and nurturing your culture is extremely important, but is rarely given the same emphasis as its counterpart. This is too bad, because your company’s culture is its guiding beacon. Without direction, your team can fall off course or drift apart; potentially, leading to disengagement and turnover.

While there are numerous suggestions for what your culture should look like, let's focus on how you’re communicating it.

According to Organizational Behavior: An Experiential Approach there are seven ways to communicate culture:

Statements of Principles

Hopefully, your teammates have reviewed your company’s mission, vision, and values. But is it safe to assume they can explain the company's purpose and direction? Finding a simple tool that reinforces your company’s values is a great way to help steer the ship.

Socialization

Consider how your employees are brought onboard. Are there platforms where they can learn about the people, the company, and the culture? Ensuring you have an effective onboarding process is crucial for creating a foundation and making your teammates’ first day a great one.

Stories

What’s on your organization’s highlight reel? No need to harp on old stories, but explaining how the organization came to be and the highlights along the way can give employees a better understanding, appreciation, and commitment for your company. Why not have the CEO or founders create a short video discussing some of these highlights? Not only does this preserve your stories, but new hires will gain abetter understanding of the corporation during their socialization phase. Remember to keep communication flowing afterwards, with leader’s blogs or town hall meetings.

Symbols

What comes to mind when you think of corporate culture? If you don’t have a symbol or a mascot, it’s never too late to adopt one. In fact, some of the funniest company stories or minor mishaps can create symbols the whole team rallies behind. Once you have a symbol, consider adding it to company swag to further engrain it into your culture.

Jargon

Every company has its lingo. Try identifying words and phrases that connect your team to your vision and values. By actively using these words in meetings and around the office, you can reinforce your uniqueness and ensure everyone is singing from the same song sheet.

Rituals and Ceremonies

Regular events spark engagement and interest in your team. Bonus points if these take you out of the office and delve into your communities. Volunteering projects and local functions may leave you with new memories, symbols, or jargon.

Heroes

Knowing whom your team idolizes is extremely important. If you don’t know who their role models are – you should ask.

Our industry says: “if you allow your culture to develop on its own, you will get what you deserve.” If you are intentional about how you communicate your culture, you will get the culture you’ve earned.

About Kudos

Kudos is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.

Talk to Sales

Ebook

Employee Recognition Buyer’s Guide

Your Step-By-Step Companion to Choosing a Recognition Platform

Get Your Guide