Organizational cultures get built over instances of time. They don’t get created overnight. It takes time to build them, but they can come crumbling down in a blink of an eye, so you have to actively manage it. You can deny its existence and hope that benign neglect of its existence works, but the reality is that more times than not, that’s not going to work for you.
It’s time you start paying heed to your organization’s culture, both the formal and informal, you can talk to your employees about what works and what doesn’t work for them and you can set out and start making changes. The quickest way to build a culture is to start building shared experiences.
Nothing creates a bond like pulling through together as a team on a project, on a goal or on some sort of shared experience. It can be as simple as getting a project out the door under difficult situations, or it can be as fun as taking your teams out to participate in a day-long excursion.
There’s something to be said about pulling through a situation as a group. Having a shared sense of accomplishment allows your teams to build on shared bonds and experiences. There’s nothing like looking your coworker in the eyes and talking about how you both pulled together through a challenging assignment.
I’ve seen people take this to the extreme, it all depends on your risk threshold, but you can take your teams rock climbing, rafting, go-kart racing or just simply setting time to get out of the office and let loose. It’s not rocket science. Building culture is about building experiences that create trust and human connection.
There’s no one way to get to this, but leaders should actively work to make it happen. Most organizations, especially large ones, don’t provide the time and space for this to occur. They’d rather let the culture dictate to them, than dictate the building of culture. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Look for opportunities to build experiences of human connection, and you’ll see a difference in the way your teams respond and in the bond you’re able to create.