Corporate culture is an energy field that determines how people act, think and view the world around them; corporate culture is analogous to electricity, an invisible, powerful energy force that can have far reaching effects that become woven through the thinking, the behavior and the identity of those within the group dynamics. Anytime people come together, with a shared interest, culture is created. Business leaders wrongly assume that their company’s values, visions and strategic priorities are understood with all their company’s culture, but more time than not, the values, visions and strategic priorities are only synonymous with the word hanging on a plaque in the lobby.
Here are a variety of ‘DO’s and DON’Ts’ when it comes to corporate training concerning the cultural energy of their company:
DON’T expect to change the systems policies, practices and culture of the organization; DO expect it to reduce backlash, change-resistance, heighten commitment to an organization’s comprehensive strategy of the 21st century corporate cultural training systems and cultural transformation; .
DON’T have the Human Resource department present the cultural training or combine it with any other EEO or Affirmative Action professionals who reports to middle or senior management, and don’t combine it with any regulations and legal compliance training; DO have the cultural training by professionals from Operations and Senior Executives and who do not report directly to the CEO., who will reflect the crucial ‘people productivity’ linkage and focus on actual work-based corporate cultural scenarios, opportunities, problems and demonstrate that with systems and culture change driven by business ethics and the competitive market.
DON’T make it the central element of an organizations’ cultural training change or market it as ‘risk management’]; DO make it a necessary, but at the same time insufficient component of organization-wide systems culture change; market it as only one of a number of planned vehicles to help drive the CEO, the organization’s values, the company’s business mission and its ability to achieve the strategic competitive advantage.
DON’T start from the bottom up; DO start from the top down. DON’T schedule the cultural training as a ‘one in a series’ of elective courses for employees to select to fulfill their annual minimum required training hours and don’t include participants who have arbitrarily chosen or been selected for that session’s date; DO schedule it as a required, professional development competency program dealing with Quality, Sales, Ethics and Safety Training and populate each session with participants who can grow and practice their new skills together.
DON’T select only minorities or women to lead the cultural training; DO select as teams of inter-racial or inter-gender leaders and include white Anglo men as a team. DON’T use cultural training to correct discriminatory behaviors or practices; DO use the training to impart skills to help prevent future unprofessional behaviors. DON’T argue the cultural training is the sensitive, right thing to do. DO argue that corporate cultural training as well as being the right thing to do, is the necessary thing to do for business survival and growth of the company.
DON’T evaluate success of the sessions in response to the scores participants give to the training or to the facilitators; DO evaluate the success of the trainings not only by the participants scores, but by real time follow-up interviews and monitoring of the subsequent workplace environment. DON’T stop after the training is over; DO provide follow-up procedures to reinforce the content, spirit and skills of the cultural training by holding people accountable for the new policies and practices taught.