Culture in an organization is essential for attracting new hires, retaining talent, and creating a sense of belonging. Building one is like creating a family recipe that is adjusted accordingly as it is passed down through each generation. Below are the top four ingredients we focus on to build our culture at Sunrise Kitchens.
An important attribute to building a strong culture is having respect. Some ways you can build a respectful community within your team is to practice active listening skills. Being an active listener can help you build trust, develop a mutual understanding, and empathy with others. Active listening can break the barrier of listening to any objectives when teams are faced with the resistance to change. In LEAN perspective, we hear the phrase “walk the Gemba or where the activity is and listen to the people”. Approaching conflict as a collaborator will also help mitigate those who are most troubled with the changes. Collaborating and understanding where they are coming from will show your team that you are willing to listen and be flexible to come to an agreement both are comfortable with.
To have an environment that encourages your team to build their careers within your organization, it is important to provide opportunities for training, courses they can enroll in and participate in organizational workshops. Policies can help streamline career development, especially for employee transfer policies that are initiated by the employee. An open-door policy also allows employees to come in and share their thoughts.
INCLUSION, EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY
A unique way to share the diversity of the team is to visually represent where your team is from. There are endless ideas of how this can be brought to life. For example, it can be in the format of a map on the wall or a pin able globe. You can achieve team cohesiveness through being transparent in your communications by creating an internal newsletter or having organizational meetings every quarter. Furthermore, making employee focused decisions will help create equality. Lastly, building a two-way communication in the majority of conversations will help create collaboration and ownership. Another way this can be achieved is through creating a marriage between self evaluations and performance reviews.
Empowering the organization can take place through many activities. A good place to get started is by embodying company values by setting examples through actions and communications along with positively reinforcing desired values by providing verbal rewards when the employee demonstrates the values. Another empowering action can be to celebrate failures. This will help break down the fear associated with doing some wrong or the worry of termination. It is important to create a safe environment that allows employees to make mistakes and learn from them. Empowerment can show up in the form of system integration. Allowing departments to work together and access information when they need it will allow them to make powerful decisions.
“EMPLOYEES ARE A COMPANY’S GREATEST
ASSET — THEY’RE YOUR COMPETITIVE
ADVANTAGE. YOU WANT TO ATTRACT AND
RETAIN THE BEST; PROVIDE THEM WITH
ENCOURAGEMENT, STIMULUS, AND MAKE
THEM FEEL THAT THEY ARE AN INTEGRAL
PART OF THE COMPANY’S MISSION.”
– ANNE M. MULCAHY, FORMER CEO OF XEROX CORPORATION
Amrita Bhogal is the 3rd generation at Sunrise Kitchens, with a focus on People and Culture. She is leading change through lean principles and continues to strengthen culture through values and behaviors. She inspires to mentor individuals and provide them tools to achieve a growth mindset. Amrita is engaged with her industry as the Vice President of the Canadian Kitchen Cabinet Association and a member of board of directors with Surrey Board of Trade. For her innovation, Amrita received the Wood Manufacturing Council’s Innovation in Human Resources Award in 2020. Her future involves an executive business coaching certificate to support other businesses in their organizational culture journey’s.