Culture refresh with a focus on team alignment.
It sounds like some folks on your team are unhappy with the current culture. As tricky as it can be, culture matters and requires your attention. Start your adaptive journey by taking a fresh look at how you can intentionally build a better culture.
- David Sturt, employee management expert and author, has identified six essential components to strong cultures: purpose, opportunity, success, appreciation, well-being and leadership.
- Get started by doing a cultural pulse check with your team to see how you are currently doing across each of these dimensions. A team meeting should suffice if your group is relatively small. For larger teams, use a survey.
- Ask team members to describe the components of your current work culture in their own words and through their lived experiences (i.e., not what it's supposed to be, but how it actually comes to life every day).
- Group the feedback into themes and then lead a facilitated discussion to gain clarity on each item.
- Give team members a chance to articulate what they notice about the responses. Encourage them to discuss the similarities and differences in observations among team members.
- End the discussion by conducting an exercise to articulate what you want your culture to be, expressed in two categories: values and behaviors.
- Frame this by asking the team to think about what it looks like when they do their best work.
- Discuss the items that emerge and make a commitment to use them as a guide that will lead to an improved culture.
- With your marketing management team, write a cultural charter that consolidates the insights gathered from the team and your own observations to date.
- Ask them to find the commonalities and connections with the organizational culture, while also articulating the elements that are unique to the marketing team.
- Culture is expressed in both values (aspirations) and behaviors (what you do), so make sure to highlight the distinction between the two.
- We recommend starting with the values and then crafting behaviors by asking how you will know if you are living the related values.
- These behaviors become practical proof points for enabling values to become tangible.
- When writing the cultural charter, be succinct but also leave room for your values and behaviors to be brought to life uniquely by the different people on your team.
- Be cognizant of the things that you can change and those that are outside of your control. It is important to name items that live at a global or organizational level which cannot be immediately impacted by your culture-building efforts with the marketing team. These items become an executive to-do list for you to take to senior leadership.
- Once crafted, share your cultural charter with the team. Treat it as an iterative document that the team can give feedback on and management can continue to refine.
- Now that you have a cultural charter in place, it's important to incorporate and reinforce it in your team's regular workflow.
- Whenever possible, find opportunities to remind your team of the cultural values and behaviors by demonstrating them yourself—in small and large ways.
- Look for opportunities to incorporate your values and behaviors into 1:1s, performance reviews, onboarding and even key working documents like briefs. If a cultural value is bravery, for instance, you may need to change how your briefing documents are structured to help team members to think and act in this way. Consider rewarding team members who have done a remarkable job of embodying one or more values as a way of encouraging adoption.
- Lastly, check in often with your team about their views on the team culture. Consider incorporating questions about culture (comprehension, agreement and manifestation) into your employee surveys.
It sounds like some folks on your team are unhappy with the current culture.