Building a Strong Organisational Culture: Insights from Business Coaching

Last Updated: 

June 23, 2023

If you've ever worked in an organisation with a strong culture, then you know just how different it is from working for one that doesn't have one. Strong organisational cultures are characterised by clear-cut company values and a mission that all employees embrace and believe in. They also tend to encourage employees' creativity and innovation while discouraging behaviours that would undermine the objectives of the business or its leaders.

Key takeaways on building strong organisational culture

  1. Define your desired culture: Clearly define the values, behaviours, and attitudes you want to foster within your organisation. This sets the foundation for building a strong organisational culture.
  2. Lead by example: As a leader, it is essential to embody and demonstrate the desired culture. Your actions and behaviours should align with the values you want to promote.
  3. Communicate the culture: Regularly communicate the organisational culture to employees. Use various channels, such as meetings, emails, and internal communication platforms, to reinforce the values and behaviours you expect from everyone.
  4. Involve employees: Involve employees in shaping the culture. Seek their input, encourage their ideas, and empower them to contribute to the development of a strong culture.
  5. Hire for cultural fit: When recruiting new employees, assess their alignment with the desired culture. Look for candidates who not only possess the necessary skills but also share the organisation's values and can contribute positively to the culture.
  6. Provide ongoing training and development: Offer training and development opportunities that reinforce the desired culture. This can include workshops, seminars, or coaching sessions that focus on cultural values, collaboration, and effective communication.
  7. Recognise and reward desired behaviours: Acknowledge and reward employees who demonstrate behaviours that align with the organisational culture. This reinforces the importance of the culture and motivates others to embody those behaviours.
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What is Organisational Culture?

Organisational culture is the way people work together, and it can be defined as a set of shared beliefs, values and behaviours that are deeply embedded in an organisation's DNA. Culture shapes how we think and act, and it's often difficult to change because it's so ingrained in our organisations.

Organisational cultures are typically built on top of one or more core values (such as "innovation" or "respect"), which then influence how employees interact with each other throughout their day-to-day activities at work. 

For example: if one of your core values is innovation, and you want everyone on your team to embrace this value, you might encourage them by having regular meetings where employees share updates about projects they're working on; inviting guest speakers from outside industries who have innovative ideas; creating an open dialogue between managers and employees so everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions without fear of being judged negatively by management; etcetera...

Culture vs. Strategy

A company's culture is its collective set of values, norms and beliefs. It determines the way the organisation conducts itself, for example by deciding what works best for them (e.g., strategic planning, performance management) and how they behave toward one another (e.g., being open to feedback).

Strategy refers to an organisation's goals or direction in achieving those goals. A company may have a great strategy but if it doesn't align with its culture then it won't be effective because people will not buy into it or support it fully: they might even sabotage parts of it!

Culture as an Immaterial Asset

Culture is an important part of the business landscape, but it's not always clear how to explain what it is or how to measure its effects. Culture can be defined as the shared values and behaviours that define an organisation. It includes things like mission statements, core values, decision-making processes and performance metrics.

Culture affects everything from hiring practices (who you hire) to customer service (how you treat them). When employees have a strong sense of purpose or pride in their work they're more likely to do well on the job, and when they don't feel this way they may leave for another company where they do feel like part of something bigger than themselves.

How to Build a Strong Organisational Culture?

When you're building a strong organisational culture, it's important to:

  • Define the vision and values of your company. Your employees should understand their role in helping you achieve your goals. They also need to know what kind of behaviour is expected from them so that they can work together effectively.
  • Create your organisation's mission statement or purpose statement. This will help everyone in the company stay focused on what matters most when making decisions about how best to serve customers or solve problems. It also helps create accountability for actions taken by individuals within departments or teams who may not be directly responsible for delivering results but nevertheless impact outcomes nonetheless (e.g., HR professionals).
  • Design systems that fit into this framework such as hiring practices, performance reviews etcetera

1. Define the Vision and Values of Your Company

You need to define the vision, mission and values of your company.

The vision is what you want to achieve in the future. It's a picture of what could be if everything went perfectly well. A good example of this is Steve Jobs' famous quote: "A computer on every desk and in every home."

The mission statement explains why you exist as an organisation (what problem do you solve?). For example: "We help our customers improve their lives by providing them with high quality products."

And finally, values are beliefs that guide your business actions; they represent what matters most to you personally or professionally. They're usually chosen because they're important enough for people within the organisation to care about them passionately, and these can be used as guidelines when making decisions about hiring new staff members or deciding whether or not something should happen within an organisation (like buying new equipment).

2. Create Your Organisation's Mission Statement or Purpose Statement

A mission statement is a statement of what your company does. It's a declaration of purpose, like the name on your door or the tagline on your website. A purpose statement is different from a mission statement because it goes deeper into why you do what you do and how it impacts people.

A good example of a company with both types of statements would be Google: "To organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." This is their mission statement; they're organising all kinds of information (and making it accessible). But there's also another part that focuses on how this helps people, it makes them more productive in their jobs or studies by giving them easy access to information around the world! That's why we call this second part our "purpose."

Let's explore the process of crafting these statements. There are several effective methods, and I'll share two commonly used approaches that have shown positive results.

First, begin by introspecting and identifying key aspects of your individuality, including your values. Jot down everything that contributes to your identity. Then, compare these aspects against the qualities you desire in a person or worker who embodies those values consistently in their daily work. This exercise will provide valuable insights into your personal strengths and shed light on any organisational weaknesses that may require attention and improvement.

Secondly, engage in conversations with individuals who have a deep understanding of you, such as family members, friends, and coworkers. Seek their perspective and gather their insights. Their input can offer valuable information and contribute to a comprehensive understanding of your strengths and areas of growth.

By combining these two approaches, you can develop compelling statements that reflect your unique qualities and aspirations.

3. Design Your Systems to Fit Your Values and Beliefs

Designing your systems to fit your values and beliefs is a way of making sure that every part of your organisation reinforces the culture you want to create. It can also help keep you from getting off track by trying to take shortcuts that don't align with who you are as a company.

To design systems that support your values, consider:

  • What processes do we use? For example, if you're committed to being environmentally conscious in all aspects of business, then one way to achieve this goal would be by using renewable energy sources at all locations (if possible) and recycling materials whenever possible. Another option might be conducting employee training sessions on how best practices for sustainability work within various industries, and sharing those insights with other companies through public speaking engagements or articles written for trade publications like Forbes magazine's "Sustainability" section!
  • How do we communicate our beliefs internally? An effective way is through regular meetings where employees can voice concerns about how things are going within their respective departments/business units so everyone has an opportunity at least once every few months (or even weekly) depending upon size/scale etc...

There are many ways to build a strong organisational culture.

There are several ways you can build a strong organisational culture.

  • Make your employees feel valued. One of the best ways to do this is by giving them the freedom to be themselves and have fun at work, while also making sure they understand how their efforts affect the larger picture of your business. For example, if someone comes up with a new idea for improving customer service or increasing sales, make sure everyone knows about it so they feel like their contribution was important.
  • Encourage collaboration among departments that are traditionally siloed from one another (e.g., marketing versus engineering). This will help ensure that everyone has access to all relevant information when making decisions about projects within their own areas of expertise, and it'll ultimately lead toward better results overall!

FAQs on building strong organisational culture

Building a strong organisational culture is vital for creating a positive work environment and driving success. Here are answers to frequently asked questions that provide valuable insights from business coaching on how to cultivate a strong culture. Explore strategies for defining the desired culture, leading by example, communicating effectively, involving employees, hiring for cultural fit, providing training and development, and recognising desired behaviours.

Why is organisational culture important for a business?

Organisational culture is important because it affects the way people work together. It's important for employees to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves, and that they have an impact on their organisation's success. A strong organisational culture creates a sense of belonging, which can lead to greater employee satisfaction and retention.

How do I define the desired culture for my organisation?

The first step in building a strong organisational culture is to define the desired culture for your organisation. To do this, you'll need to:

  • Define your values.
  • Use a process to identify, document and share these values with all employees.
  • Use appropriate processes to define, communicate and reinforce this value set every day at work so that it becomes part of their daily routine as well as ingrained within their mindset when making decisions or interacting with others in the workplace environment (or outside of it).

What role does leadership play in shaping the organisational culture?

Leadership is a key factor in shaping organisational culture. Leaders set the tone for the organisation, create a vision for its future and communicate that vision to employees so they can be motivated to achieve it.

Leaders also need to ensure that they have an environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves both individually and as part of teams. This means having open communication channels where everyone feels like they can contribute ideas without fear of criticism from others who may not agree with them (or their managers).

How can I effectively communicate the desired culture to my employees?

When communicating the desired culture to employees, keep the following in mind:

  • Be clear and concise. Each employee should understand exactly what is expected of them during their workday. If you are not sure how to communicate this effectively, consider using a checklist or other visual aid (such as an infographic) that makes it easy for employees to see their roles at a glance.
  • Communicate in a way that's relevant to your audience. For example, if there are several languages spoken by members of your team (or even just one), make sure you use language that everyone understands before explaining new policies or procedures. It's also helpful if managers can provide examples from their own experiences so employees have someone they can relate with when trying out new ways of doing things at work, this helps create buy-in from everyone involved!

What are some ways to involve employees in shaping the organisational culture?

  • Employee surveys. These are a great way to get feedback from your employees about the current state of your culture, and how they would like it to change. They're also helpful in identifying trends that may not be obvious from other sources of data, such as employee interviews or focus groups.
  • Employee interviews. Interviewing employees one-on-one allows you to ask specific questions about what motivates them at work and how they perceive their role within the company culture overall, which can help you gain deeper insight into where improvements need to be made in order for your organisation's culture to thrive moving forward.
  • Employee focus groups and feedback sessions (with no more than 10 people per group). Focus groups allow participants' thoughts and feelings on an issue or topic being discussed by multiple members simultaneously; this gives everyone involved an opportunity to both learn from each other's experiences while sharing knowledge with those who are less familiar with particular issues facing today's workforce."


If you want to build a strong organisational culture, it's essential that you work with your employees and leaders to create a common vision for the company. This can be done through regular discussions on how everyone feels about their work, what they think needs improvement and what makes them feel proud of what they do every day.

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