How to Keep Your Company Culture Strong Over Time

Imagine shaping a company’s culture not with brute force, but with the finesse of a craftsman. As a business coach for more than twenty-five years, I have worked with thousands of businesses to help them develop a company culture that not only works for their business and their customers but will also withstand the test of time. This is the essence of the “culture hammer” — which is a tool that I teach our business coaching clients, about wielding shaping moments with care and persistence, thus creating a lifetime legacy for their business moving forward.

So today, I want to share with you how you too can use the “culture hammer” to create a lasting company culture.

It’s All About Gentle Pressure Applied Relentlessly

The concept of gentle pressure applied relentlessly is akin to the rhythmic tapping of a blacksmith’s hammer, molding raw metal into a masterpiece. In the realm of company culture, it’s about consistently nudging, reinforcing, and celebrating the behaviors that define the essence of a company.

Here are some practical strategies that you can adopt to apply gentle pressure relentlessly, ensuring that your cultural elements become ingrained in the fabric of your company.

  • Storytelling as a Cultural Tapestry: Narratives have a profound impact on how cultural elements are internalized. By weaving these elements into compelling stories, you can create a tapestry that resonates with your employees. Try to regularly share stories that exemplify the cultural essence, making it a living, breathing part of your company’s narrative.
  • Recognition Rituals: Establish rituals that celebrate individuals or teams embodying cultural elements. Recognition is a powerful form of reinforcement and an easy way for you to create culture. Whether it’s a weekly shout-out during team meetings or a monthly award ceremony, acknowledging those who personify the culture sends a clear message – these behaviors matter.
  • Leadership Alignment Sessions: Leaders are the torchbearers of company culture. Regular alignment sessions ensure that leadership is not only familiar with cultural elements but also actively demonstrates them. These sessions provide an opportunity to discuss challenges, share success stories, and reaffirm the commitment to the cultural journey.
  • Cultural Check-Ins: Incorporate cultural elements into regular check-ins and performance evaluations. By intertwining these elements with individual goals, employees see a direct correlation between their professional development and your company’s cultural expectations.

The relentless application of gentle pressure has a ripple effect on company dynamics, influencing everything from employee morale to decision-making processes.

  • Cultivating Employee Ownership: When cultural elements become second nature, employees feel a sense of ownership. It’s no longer about complying with rules but actively contributing to the cultural narrative, fostering an environment where everyone plays a role in shaping the company’s identity.
  • Adaptability and Resilience: A culture reinforced with gentle pressure becomes a resilient force during challenging times. It provides a steady framework for decision-making and problem-solving, ensuring that your company navigates uncertainties with a shared sense of purpose.

Added Benefits of the Culture Hammer

The strategies employed to tap the culture hammer are not just theoretical – they translate into tangible benefits for your long-term success.

  • Retention and Recruitment Magnet: Companies with a well-forged culture become magnets for top talent. Prospective employees are not just seeking job opportunities; they are looking for workplaces with a distinct identity and purpose. And this is one way you can stand out from the rest.
  • Innovation and Evolution: A culture shaped by consistent reinforcement becomes the breeding ground for innovation. Employees feel empowered to bring forth new ideas, knowing that they align with the cultural fabric of your company.

In the journey towards long-term success, the culture hammer emerges as a silent yet potent ally. By understanding the art of gentle pressure applied relentlessly, you can craft a company culture that withstands the test of time – a culture that is not imposed but embraced, not forced but cultivated. This is the essence of tapping the culture hammer for a legacy that endures.