6 Tips to Create a High Performing Organizational Culture
The term “organizational culture” gets thrown around a lot, especially in job listings and interviews, but what does it really mean? An organization’s culture means the type of environment created for employees. Can they openly share ideas, express concerns, and freely ask questions? Often the fear of being shut down, ignored, or ridiculed by higher-ups deters employees from doing so.
Creating an open organizational culture will be vital to success, especially in a nonprofit organization where leadership and member involvement and engagement is crucial. Follow these six essential tips to create a high performing organizational culture.
1. Embrace New Ideas and Change
Often, nonprofits are stuck in the past. While their mission remains timeless, their reach, marketing, and development methods need to change with the times. Be open to ideas brought by members, managers, and leaders and embrace the change it may bring. Pushing out of your comfort zone, and that of the organization, will garner results unlike before.
2. Make Friends not Foes
A high performing culture is a friendly one. For organization members to present new ideas, they must first feel welcomed and encouraged to do so. By having an open environment, you’ll create a conversational tone between employees and their leadership.
3. Look for Ways to Improve
Look for ways to continuously improve your board members, leaders, and outreach. Implement routine performance evaluations, benchmark milestone reviews, and monthly, open organization meetings. There are a number of online tools c-suite executives can use to improve their organizational work, including video courses, articles, and assessments.
4. Promote from Within
More often than not, your next leader is already working for your organization. You know they’re passionate about the mission, and being already on the payroll and trained is a plus! Start your executive search with your own people by having potential leaders take an online assessment.
5. Keep Your Mission at the top of Mind
Without putting on the pressure, frequent reminders of your organization’s mission will go a long way to motivate members. Talk about why your mission exists and, more importantly, the success it has had. By openly asking for better ways to reach goals, you’ll encourage members to speak out and create an open communication environment.
6. Identify Member Strengths and Provide Feedback
By publicly showcasing members’ strengths within your organization, it’ll reinforce their positive contribution and encourage others to step it up. Similarly, if a member’s performance is lackluster, privately complete a performance review and provide specific feedback on areas of improvement. By doing each of these, it shows members they are cared for and valued.
Invest in Your Organization’s Culture
Creating a high performing organizational culture is investing in your mission, community, and people. While the tips above are great to get started, contact DCM Associates when you’re ready to take the next step. We offer your nonprofit personal guidance by identifying areas where your culture can improve and presenting specific action items.