Why Culture Needs to Be Part of Your Strategy

With the midpoint of the calendar year upon us, business leaders are rolling up their sleeves, analyzing the last few quarters, and looking ahead. While spreadsheets, graphs, and other quantitative measures provide important guidance, global leaders who truly wish to achieve long-term success also examine the current state of organizational culture. Global leaders know that a foosball table in the breakroom does not define culture. Organizational culture, like a country’s culture, comprises of shared traits, values, and beliefs. Culture drives the purpose of employee work, how work is accomplished, and the environment in which work takes place.

To Identify & Build Awareness of Your Global organization’s Culture, Consider the Following

How well are new employees fitting into your global organization?

Tip: use the opportunity of onboarding new hires to capture how well your culture is communicated, aligned, and understood by team members coming from varying intercultural backgrounds.

  • Are managers of global teams and new hires aware of cultural values and growing into their global roles? Are group and relationship-oriented employees from Japan clear on individual accountability and individual achievement expected in the US branch of the company?
  • Does the organization’s culture make colleagues from India comfortable with active participation and challenging ideas common in The Netherlands?
  • Does the organization address local diversity, inclusion, and belonging areas of focus, especially for freshly relocated expats?

How Does Your Organization Resolve Issues?

Tip: recognize that actions taken to resolve issues provide a direct lens into a group’s culture. Make sure that your organization’s values are reflected in your team’s actions when it comes to problem solving.

  • Does your organization value honesty and accountability? Self-reporting and correction of errors to address mistakes can be expected and encouraged in a non-punitive process when leaders create a safe environment from which to do so
  • Organizational expectations of helping colleagues with projects outside their own role demonstrates that teamwork is valued. Global team leaders who are able to leverage diversity of intercultural teams can realize the exponential benefits teamwork can produce

Are Leaders Aligned with Organizational Values?

Tip: equip managers to be influencers across cultures and effectively demonstrate the group’s values. Leadership development workshops and tools, such as cultural competency assessments, are a great way for managers to become more effective with engaging their global team and enhancing organizational culture.

  • The ability for managers to work effectively across cultures is vital to retaining and engaging the organization’s global talent in today’s tight labor market. By leveraging different skills and approaches, organizations can acquire the cultural competency and techniques needed to successfully carry out their strategy
  • Ultimately, the goal is that every employee is aligned on why they do something, how to do it effectively, and are in an environment that encourages them to do so

IOR Intercultural Solutions