Cultivate A Healthy Culture That Lasts With Jenni Catron


Has your organization experienced turnover, team disengagement, or unnecessary conflict? If so, you may be having culture issues. Culture is the key to retention. Employees want to work for organizations that value them and provide an environment where their strengths can thrive.  Every organization strives to have a strong culture but the process of building a culture that works for your specific organization can be difficult. Knowing what values your organization currently has and wants to have are essential in culture development. Although the process can be hard, there are experts and tools that you can use to help launch your ideal culture. To give more insight into culture-building and tools for organizational leaders, I sat down with Jenni Catron from The 4Sight Group to discuss all things organizational culture.

Why is developing a healthy culture challenging?

It can be hard to put your vision and goals into words and create a lasting culture rather than crafting hollow mission statements that aren’t lived out. Often, organizations select values but don’t make a conscious effort to implement them. On top of the effort it takes, it’s also important to remember that every organizational leader has their own values that impact the culture and play a role in their expectations within the organization. However, sometimes leaders don’t fully understand their own underlying values and what impact they’ll have on their organization’s culture. Much of what goes into developing a healthy culture depends on the strong core values that are set in place for the organization, so leaders need to take time to understand their values, the driving forces behind those values, and determine whether or not they drive the organization in the direction of their goal of having a healthy culture.

Once leadership is clear on their values and expectations that will drive their mission, it’s critical to communicate these ideas to the entire organization. Until your team knows what’s expected of them, they can’t be expected to align with those traits or actions. For your values to work, you’ll need to have them written down so they become an understood standard for anyone who joins the team. It also helps to reference your values often. Here at Vanderbloemen, we highlight our culture every week during our all-staff meeting by recognizing where we saw one of our values displayed that week. This helps staff remember to make decisions that reflect their organizational goals.

What is the key to cultivating a strong culture?

You want your culture to be a set of values that are lived out every day and have an impact on the behavior of your organization. Understanding the underlying core values that guide your organization and articulating those to your staff are vital to culture development. It is crucial that your staff knows and believes in these values, so they are empowered to use them as a guide for how to act within the organization. When staff members can connect the organization’s core values with the work they do daily, it’s common for them to take ownership and pride in their work by recognizing how it directly correlates with the organization’s purpose. 

Having shared values not only creates your culture, but it also creates a shared goal that allows staff members to use their unique gifts to accomplish that goal. In other words, it provides a framework for your staff to independently make decisions that align with your mission. Your culture is what will make your organization unique, successful, and ultimately cultivate the right relationships among your staff and clients. The key is to establish and understand your organization’s values, and use them as the foundation for developing a healthy culture in your organization.

Remember: values are as important for defining what you don’t want as clarifying what you do.

What does culture-fit mean for your staff?

When hiring, organizations are always looking for a “good culture-fit,” but few truly know what that looks like in an employee. Culture-fit is composed of character, chemistry, and competency. Leaders often confuse culture-fit with good chemistry, when in actuality, all three aspects of culture-fit need to be present for your organization and team members to succeed. Although the potential employee you are interviewing has great chemistry with you, it’s critical to ensure that the interviewee also has the necessary character and competency to perform essential tasks efficiently, and most importantly, aligns with the values that define your organization.

Ensuring the people you hire are an excellent culture-fit is vital because it also plays a significant role in their experience with the organization, how well they perform, and potentially how long they remain with your organization. Even though it may seem like a lot to consider at the beginning of the hiring process, it is worth it to prevent any long-term implications of hiring someone who isn't a culture-fit and challenges your organization could face because of it. No hire is more expensive than the wrong hire, so having upfront conversations about your values is always a good idea.

At Vanderbloemen, we know a healthy culture is essential to having a successful organization. As your organization continues to grow and develop their unique culture, we hope this blog serves as a helpful tool in understanding why values are so important to culture development. To better understand where your organization lies in regard to culture, connect with our strategic partner, Jenni Catron with The 4Sight Group. Jenni is passionate about equipping organizations with the resources and tools necessary to building a strong culture. 

Their new course, Culture Works: Values Course, provides a framework to cultivate your team’s potential. Use code: Vanderbloemen at checkout for $50 off. In Culture Works, you’ll learn:

  • How to equip your team to make better decisions

  • How to stop micromanaging your team

  • How to ensure alignment throughout the organization

  • How to make sure your values are more than statements on the wall

  • How values help you achieve your mission 

Register today for Culture Works: Values Course.

You can also utilize our Culture Tool for insights on where your organization is doing well and where it can continue to grow. 

Walk into 2021 with clear goals to cultivate your team's potential and build a thriving culture.