The Journal Gazette
Sunday, September 26, 2021 1:00 am

Organization's culture crucial part of success

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Leaders struggling to pinpoint the next strategy that could have significant impact might consider contemplating organizational culture.

An email last week with a link to a blog by Bonusly included an article with the headline “10 Dead Simple Ways to Improve Your Company Culture.” That's an attention grabber that would be hard to quickly dismiss for leaders concerned about motivating workforce talent.

Bonusly, an online platform designed to make rewards and recognition easier, offered several tips in the article. Just in case the same email didn't find its way to your inbox, I'll share an abbreviated version of some strategies outlined:

Embrace transparency. It helps drive highly engaged employees and is part of building trust. Communication is critical, particularly for organizations with employees in multiple offices or some working remotely.

Instead of asking “is it absolutely necessary to share this?” the article suggests asking “is it absolutely necessary to conceal this?”

Transparency can also include sharing challenges, which present an opportunity for teams to develop solutions.

Remember the importance of recognition. Share successes of the organization, teams and individuals.

“It's a major motivation boost for the team to hear the positive results of their hard work,” the article said. Having a recognition-rich culture can help reduce turnover.

Cultivate strong co-worker relationships. Connections can help stimulate employee engagement, but it doesn't happen automatically. It takes time, effort and sometimes dedicated team-building activities.

Embrace and inspire employee autonomy. “Nobody wants to be a robot,” the article said. “Being micromanaged at work is ineffective, inefficient and does little to inspire trust in your company culture. You hired them, so you should trust your employees to manage their responsibilities effectively.”

Practice flexibility. This can also reduce turnover and improve morale. This can include allowing parents to step out a few hours for a school event, work-from-home opportunities or an employee taking a much-needed sabbatical.

Summit tidbits

From Bianca Juarez Olthoff, an author and pastor in California, during last month's annual Global Leadership Summit:

• Your crisis does not dictate your capability, competency or commitment.

• It's not whether people are born and bred leaders, but whether they lead when asked to. “Sometimes the best leaders are the ones who are hiding,” she said.

Olthoff is author of the best-selling book “Play with Fire.” More recently, she wrote “How to Have Your Life Not Suck: Becoming Today Who You Want to Be Tomorrow,” which explores how to win at work and navigate life's many decisions.

From Albert Tate, founder of the multiethnic Fellowship Church, who also spoke during the Leadership Summit:

• Most of those attending – virtually or in-person where livestreaming was available – have been through the hardest year of their life, he said. They “have burdens that the naked eye can't see.”

The start of the coronavirus pandemic, with all the shutdowns that caused people to reflect on priorities, might have been the lesson, but now we're taking the test – including how we approach life and work.

“You know how you're going to thrive in this new season? By taking care of yourself,” Tate said. “Healthy leaders have healthy rhythms of rest.”

Tate serves on the board of trustees at Azusa Pacific University, the Global Leadership Network and the global church planting organization Stadia. He was recently published in “Letters to a Birmingham Jail: A Response to the Words and Dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

To share a thought, a favorite quote or other wisdom about leadership, email Lisa Green at Lead On also appears online as a blog at

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