As a Chief Heart Officer, a large portion of my responsibility focuses on building and sustaining a healthy company culture. Culture is defined as the values, expectations, and practices that guide and inform the actions of all members of the organization.  Healthy Company Culture is created through consistent and authentic behaviors and is demonstrated by way of decisions made by leadership that brings the company values to life. 

You can see the company culture in action when the CEO responds to a crisis, how a team adapts to change, or how a mistake is managed and corrected. 

In my experience of building a healthy company culture, I have witnessed a number of key elements that make up a healthy culture. When the culture is healthy and your team is happy you will have less turnover. Additionally, you’ll see improved collaboration, proactive communication, and there will be a general vibe of a positive sense of well-being. 

Below are a few things key elements to building a healthy company culture: 

Appreciation.

A company culture that acknowledges and thanks people for their contribution makes people feel part of something meaningful and purposeful. So, pen and paper may sound vintage, but I can promise the impact will inspire and renew the members of your team.

Receiving a handwritten thank you note will go a long way when it comes to expressing appreciation. 

Trust is vital to a healthy culture.

With a culture that builds trust, the team members will openly express themselves and rely on the support of others. A culture high in trust will provide open feedback and encourage the team to speak up about what’s working and not working.

Leadership consistency.

A healthy culture starts with the leadership team. Culture is grounded in the company values. If the leadership team doesn’t embody them — or even displays behaviors that go against them — it undermines the effort. Team members will recognize the dissonance between stated values and lived behaviors. Ultimately eroding the company culture.

Resilience.

A resilient culture will coach leaders to watch for and respond to change with ease. A resilient culture will promote honesty, humility, flexibility, and patience. 

Teamwork involves collaboration, communication, and respect between team members.

When everyone on the team believes that support and encouragement lead to feeling happier and more productive, they will go above and beyond to establish connections and build positive relationships. 

Strengths Focus.

Healthy cultures will focus on what is right with people vs what is wrong. When you take a strengths-based approach you will place people in the best fit positions based upon strengths setting people up for success. When people are encouraged to grow and develop in alignment with their strengths the whole company benefits. 

Coaching.

Healthy cultures are created when team members are inspired to continuously learn and supported both personally and professionally. So, when you are invested in their success, people know you care.

Each company’s culture varies based on its core values. If you want to build a healthy company culture, be sure that your core values focus on the health of your people. Take care of your people first and success will follow.  

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