As company culture and conscious leadership become concepts that people become increasingly familiar with, more companies are attempting to adopt values that emit a softer and kinder vision. While this is great news, many of these organizations are just paying lip service. While they may loudly espouse certain principles of conscious capitalism, many enterprises fall far short of actually living out the values.
Not only is this the exact opposite of conscious capitalism and inclusive growth, but it hurts the business in the long run. By now, we have all heard about the benefits of creating an inclusive company culture and adhering to the foundations of conscious capitalism. So, it is no surprise that more organizations want to change their operations.
But trying to half-heartedly adopt a certain type of corporate culture can backfire. People are smart enough to detect when they are being fooled. And when that happens, it is hard for them to forgive.
A leader must live the values that he or she wants to instil into an organization. If this doesn’t happen then employees will feel no motivation to embrace the company culture. Leaders need to be genuine, otherwise, their message becomes diluted.
Employees are at the front lines of your organization so they must fully accept and espouse the core mission of the company. But in order for them to do this, they have to have a leader who also truly believes in the mission.
“Every company has a culture, either by default or by design,” writes Robert Glazer, founder of Acceleration Partners, in Inc. magazine. “When companies don’t pay attention or guide the culture, the wrong values can become ingrained. Employees can learn by the observation that there is a culture of secrecy, of placing blame or of cutting corners.”
Company values will really mean something if you choose a mission that is unique to your company rather than copy other organizations with generic statements. One of the main goals of my organization is to improve the lives of our most important members – the rural artisans. That is why we work hard to provide the weavers and their families with education, health and skill development.
These activities make sense for our company and the population that we serve. But it wouldn’t make sense for a company that is based in a financial sector to provide the same services because weavers and artisans are not a population generally familiar to such companies.
When it comes to company values, a one-size-fits-all approach does not work. Employees will know the difference and will not feel as passionate about embracing values that don’t align to your specific organization.
Remember that employees will only accept a company’s mission if the culture is genuine and practical. Making this a reality starts at the top.