Organizational Culture & Values

5 tips for reinforcing culture

In the latest Vistage CEO Confidence Index survey, which captured insights from 1,518 CEOs and business leaders, only 1 in 6 respondents said they were satisfied with the strength of their organizational culture.

This statistic suggests that the vast majority of small and midsize firm CEOs will at some point need to reinforce their company culture. The question is, how?

Conventional wisdom suggests new hires can be a catalyst for a cultural turnaround. But a more proven method is actually investing in existing talent.

Here are five talent management practices that are a solid starting place to begin to transform and strengthen your existing company culture.

 1. New hire on-boarding presents an opportunity to share your culture with new employees.

Some CEOs will personally share their culture with each new hire. Others prefer a more bottom-up approach. Either way, this is the time to set clear expectations, and make sure every employee feels a part of the culture from day one.


2. Reward and recognition programs celebrate the performance and behaviors of the culture.

Why reward both performance and behaviors? Experienced HR professionals will tell you — if you only reward numbers (e.g., sales goals), the employee takeaway will be that “how much” matters more than “how.”

3. Employee development programs and investments demonstrate commitment to improving and expanding each person’s skills and capabilities.

Programs for job advancement and personal wellness further demonstrate a company’s long-term loyalty to each employee. When people feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to contribute to the culture and invest back in the company.

4. Employee benefits highlight the importance placed on the health, wellness and security of employees and their families.

Like compensation, they offer a measurable point of comparison between companies and cultures. When done right, employee benefit programs improve employee retention, performance and engagement.

5. Performance management aligns the organization’s financial goals with employee behavior.

When goals are clearly set and communicated, decisions can be made with clarity that is fueled by the culture and connected to the team and individual. Additionally, when culture, business and talent are working in unison, it creates a virtuous cycle that results in a long-term competitive advantage for the company.

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About the Author: Anne Petrik

As Vice President of Research for Vistage, Anne Petrik is instrumental in the creation of original thought leadership designed to inform the decision-making of CEOs of small and midsize businesses. These perspectives — shared through repo

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