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Six Organizational Changes to Make your Culture your Competitive Edge

By Dena Cordova-Jack

Six Organizational Changes to Make your Culture your Competitive Edge
SIX ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES TO MAKE YOUR CULTURE YOUR COMPETITIVE EDGE High on every business owner's wish list is creating a sustainable, competitive advantage. Leveraging your company culture as your unique value proposition to accomplish this is your company's best attribute that carries no risk of being cloned. Developing a high-performing company culture, however, is no easy task in these days of a shrinking workforce, underemployment, and changing norms about what defines a workplace. According to a recent Gallup poll, just over 50% of employees define themselves as not engaged at work, and that 50% disengaged group spans all generations, not just the newest ones. According to Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup, Inc., six functional changes must be made within an organization to create a culture of constructive collaboration that attracts employees to the company and retains those employees for the long term. 1.It's not just the paycheck, it's the purpose. It is a fundamental human driver to have a purpose, and employees want to work for organizations that have a mission and purpose they identify with. Fair compensation is essential, but it is not the only driver employees consider. 2.Job satisfaction is important. Professional development is even more critical. Employees want to work for organizations that invest in them, help them develop their skill sets, and promote them accordingly. Career pathing is critical. 3.Old leadership models are changing. Command and control approaches are ineffective, especially with younger generations. Employees today want coaching leaders that take an interest in them personally and professionally and value them as people, not as a number that affects the bottom line. 4.Give Feedback. Younger generations want constant, clear communication. Annual reviews are not inherently wrong, but it is far more effective to have ongoing conversations. consistent one-to-one meetings are even better. 5.Transition to a new strengths-based culture. Recent research in organizational development has concluded that gaps in an individual don't necessarily turn into strengths. Spending time and resources to fill a gap is less effective than focusing on expanding an employee's natural strength. 6.It is not just my job; it's my life. Everyone wants an excellent job with stability and fair compensation. But in today's world, the line between our personal and professional lives is becoming increasingly blurred. Employees want to know if an organization will focus on them as a whole human--not just as an employee. They want to be valued and heard for their opinions and contributions. Employee resources for health and wellness are paramount; being part of something bigger and positively impacting the communities they live and work in is essential. Building your competitive advantage on pricing, product, or process may be a short-lived strategic approach. Customers' expectations of service and value are rapidly shifting. Workforces are dynamically changing. Markets are volatile, and given time and resources, your competitors can clone your processes and products, beat your pricing structures, and poach your people. It takes continuous, consistent effort to drive continuous growth and improvement while keeping a competitive edge. Intentionally building your culture as your competitive advantage will give your company a sustainable, unique strategy to beat whatever market volatility throws your way.
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