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With Challenge Comes Opportunity

A chance to reconnect to your company’s purpose & redefine your culture COVID-19 has undoubtedly brought uncertain and difficult times for Canadian companies the likes of which we have never seen before. However, the crisis has also been a grounding experience for many leaders that has opened the door to re-evaluate, learn, and grow their company in a new way.

In fact for many companies this is exactly the reset that they needed, providing a rare opportunity to take a step back and reflect on the original inspiration that started their companies and the corporate culture they wanted to create. How has the company culture evolved? Are you satisfied with your employee’s level of engagement, values and behaviours? Have you maintained your original competitive advantage? Are you still differentiating yourself from your peers? “Culture” has become a corporate buzzword that is often misused or misunderstood. But ultimately your corporate culture is your biggest competitive advantage – your differentiator - and one of the ways top organizations attract and retain top talent. However, it is something that needs to live not only on a poster in your office but as a living and breathing compass for how you conduct business. For example, a client of mine has spent many years building a company culture of transparency in the way his company conducts business. “My approach to business is not to sell you a bill of goods but inform you of what is possible and what is not,” he shares. While his approach may not always close the deal, it attracts clients who also value honesty and transparency. Most organizations have a set of values and vision for the company culture; not all organizations know how to walk the talk. How can organizations create a positive, attractive, and sustainable culture that aligns with corporate strategies? Make a plan.

A cultural initiative plan aligns company objectives across all interpersonal and operational structures to increase organizational performance. The goal is to build and sustain a strong employer brand that is focused on the alignment of organizational values and goals. The foundation of this plan is built on a clear definition of your corporate cultural beliefs. Engagement surveys are a great tool to collect valuable employee feedback in crafting your cultural beliefs. The survey also allows for a current pulse check, as well as offers employees a voice in sculpting future engagement initiatives. The remainder of the plan follows a staged approach:

Stage 1: Identify and Focus on Critical Behaviours. The intent in this stage is to define what needs to change, and seek feedback from the team. Focus on the behaviours you want to see more of and start to build talent with the new corporate culture in mind.

Stage 2: Advocate Cultural and Behavioural Change. In this stage, the focus is on closing the gap between the desired culture and current state. People leaders play a strong role in advocating the shift to culture and behaviour changes.

Stage 3: Reinforce Corporate Culture. In the final stage, focus is on reinforcing the new corporate culture and keeping it strong; and providing employees opportunities to give feedback such as through an annual Employee Engagement Survey.

Now, more than ever, is a great time to check-in with your employees (especially if they are working remotely) and gather some of this crucial feedback. Every company will have their own unique strategy and culture so it is essential to include employees in the process when deciding how to build an environment where they can contribute to its success. Creating a common sense of ownership and collaboration will help to engage both employees and leaders in achieving the successful roll out of the organization’s strategic cultural plan.

Cultivating a culture that fits your organization starts with a review of your current organizational values and goals, collaborating with your employees, and aligning desired behaviours with rewards.

If you would like help or advice in developing a strategic cultural initiative, support with talent acquisition/talent management initiatives, or guidance creating an incentive rewards program, contact us anytime at or text 403-478-7710.


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