When you read a job offer that says a company has a growth culture, what do you think – what does it mean? Their focus on the results?
It might be two things, in fact. One is performance-obsessed. The other is… well, growth-oriented.
At the foundation of these two approaches is the most ever demanding market. It’s complex, volatile and competitive. That’s why companies need more from their employees. That’s why employees feel overwhelmed when they find themselves in a performance-obsessed environment. The performance is still crucial, for both, but how you reach for the performance is what differs a great company culture from the one that employees would like to leave.
How to build a true growth culture, then? Tony Schwartz says it requires a blend of organizational and individual components. First, there’s an environment that feels safe to expose vulnerabilities, with top leaders as role models. Secondly, the will for learning must be in place – by curiosity and transparency. There’s also the need to experiment and encourage changes, focusing on what is there to improve, rather on the fear of failure. The last ingredient seems to be a continuous feedback across the whole organization.
It’s way much simpler in theory than in practice. The leaders need to turn words into actions and use their behavior as an example for the rest of the company. It’s hard to put yourself in a vulnerable position, especially when you lead other people. It’s hard to receive rough feedback but it’s the way to a culture that retains employees while achieving more.
We live by the same principals here, at First Engineers. That’s why we can’t agree more with the author. Building a growth culture in the company is not an easy task but the results are definitely worth it.
If you want to know exactly what Tony Schwartz had to go through in order to build such teams, head over to his article.