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  • Writer's pictureFaye Almeshaan

Cultivating a Thriving Company Culture, Beyond Pizza Parties

Leaders often sense something's amiss within their organization's culture. There's an inkling that not everything is as harmonious or productive as it could be. But sometimes you just can’t put your finger on it. It's easy to mistake surface-level performance dips as the root problem, not realizing you’re just at the tip of the iceberg of a deeper, underlying issue in the company culture.


Many organizations, opt for quick fixes, default to superficial solutions—think the classic pizza parties or a new ping pong table in the break room. While these can boost morale temporarily (I mean who doesn’t love pizza?), they're really just a band-aid solution. The real work lies in a thorough, introspective process that goes beyond temporary perks. Here's a streamlined, four-step approach to genuinely understand and elevate your company culture.


1. Diagnose the Real Issue

Begin by diving deep to understand the underlying causes of cultural friction. Many leaders confuse symptoms for root causes. If teams are siloed, that may be a symptom of another issue. Here, it's essential to ask why. Is it a trust issue, a lack of collaborative tools, or maybe a shift to remote work without adequate support? 


Your job is to figure out and diagnose the root source of the problem. How? Just ask! Select a few individuals and ask them about the symptoms, why aren't they communicating? Why are they siloed? You'd be surprised how quickly you figure out the solution by just asking the right people the right questions. 


2. Design a Targeted Solution

Armed with a clear understanding of the core issues, come up with a hypothesis on how it can be fixed. Brainstorm solutions that address them head-on. If ineffective communication is the culprit, maybe if we get a collaboration tool like Slack and create a shared channel for those teams, that will increase their communication and collaboration. Let’s design that hypothesis it and put it to the test.


3. Measure and Assess

With your strategy in motion, it's critical to track its effectiveness. Develop metrics that directly reflect the issues you're addressing. Whether it's through employee feedback, productivity scores, or other KPIs, measuring impact ensures you're not just making changes but making the right changes. At what point would you consider your solution a success? Have that metric ready and track away.


4. Reflect and Iterate

The journey doesn't end with measurement. Reflect on the outcomes. If things haven't improved, consider whether the diagnosis was accurate or if the solution was the right fit. If your solution was a success, reflect on why that was, write it down in a post-mortem so that you have that information for future use. This step is about learning, adapting, and refining your approach, ensuring your company culture is not just maintained but nurtured and evolved.


Conclusion

Improving your company's culture goes far beyond the allure of fun perks. It requires a commitment to understanding the deeper issues at play and addressing them through thoughtful, deliberate actions. This four-step approach may be a little more work, but by using it leaders can foster a workplace environment that not only boosts morale and productivity but allows employees to feel heard, cared for, and ultimately, build a stronger foundation of trust for the team to florish.

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