Organizational culture is considered by many to be “the soft stuff”. This does not make it unimportant. In fact, there is a rapidly growing body of research that supports Peter Drucker’s famous idea that “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. But that’s a whole topic for another time.
What this does mean is that culture is “the hard stuff”, which you’re unlikely to be able to neatly tie up with a bow in an Excel spreadsheet. In other words, (unfortunately) you can’t just plop a foosball table in the office or provide free-flowing kombucha and call it a day. Building organizational culture takes a deliberate, committed effort over a long period of time.
Why Make a Talent Culture Performance Strategy?
At Realize, we spend a lot of time thinking about people and culture. People and culture are integral aspects of our consulting practice along with being at the core of our internal operations. In fact, we’ve written a few articles on these topics including 3 key ways employee engagement can bolster culture as well as leadership succession planning. The keystone of our efforts to build our own organizational culture is a living document that we call our “Talent Culture and Performance Strategy”. This sets the foundation that informs the multitude of small decisions that engage our employees, define who we are, and drive our culture forward. In addition, it’s also an essential part of our recruiting process as we use it to gauge the cultural fit of all prospective hires.
After months of hard work, we’re proud to share our own Realize Talent Culture and Performance Strategy. Inside, you’ll see that we cover 8 key foundational blocks to our culture:
- Values that define and drive us
- High performance
- Impact and accountability
- Context, not control
- Highly aligned and mutually accountable
- Living wage and benefits
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Promotion, development, and recognition
We have found this strategy incredibly useful and are so excited to share it far and wide. As you’re reading, here are some questions to consider: What’s your talent, culture, and performance strategy? Is it down on paper? Do your employees understand it? How did it affect your behaviour today?
We’d be remiss to wrap up this blog post without pointing you to the amazing Harvard Business Review article titled How Netflix Reinvented HR. If you haven’t already come across this article, we couldn’t recommend it more. Our Talent Culture and Performance Strategy was inspired largely by Netflix’s deck of slides that are embedded in the article. Here’s a small – but mighty – excerpt to give you a taste:
“Over the years we learned that if we asked people to rely on logic and common sense instead of on formal policies, most of the time we would get better results, and at lower cost. If you’re careful to hire people who will put the company’s interests first, who understand and support the desire for a high-performance workplace, 97% of your employees will do the right thing. Most companies spend endless time and money writing and enforcing HR policies to deal with problems the other 3% might cause.”Netflix