Culture Change: Your Role as an Executive

So you’re the big cheese, huh? 🙂 You have a VERY important role in facilitating and implementing positive culture change in your company. We know what a great culture looks like, how you can get your whole team bought in, and exactly what your managers should be doing regularly to implement and maintain this positive culture. Let’s focus on the top 3 things you can be doing as an Executive to promote positive culture change.

Measure What Matters

One of your main roles as an Executive is to monitor the trends, growth, and success (or lack thereof) of your organization. You might not be the one who is inputting data, tracking services, pulling reports, etc. but you are the one directing them and reading them (at least I hope so). You set direction and guidance to the entire rest of your team by what you focus on measuring. So you’ve got to measure culture!

You can do this a few ways. First, you should ensure that your entire workforce is being surveyed with the Q12 Employee Engagement survey at least 1-2 times per year. Gallup developed these 12 questions after working with over 2,500 business units and they know what they’re talking about. You can download my free guide that takes you through all 12 questions here. Pay attention to the trends, where you’re growing, where you’re falling backwards, and where you’re stuck. Use these trends to work with your management teams to brainstorm strategies to improve.

Second, you have to practice what you preach. Make sure you as well are holding one-on-ones with your direct reports weekly (more on that here) and that culture is a main topic of discussion each and every week. You’ll be reinforcing that company culture and employee engagement is a top priority over and over and over again.

Lastly, if you haven’t started utilizing Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) get to it. Having these transparent quarterly objectives and key results up and down the organization is going to help greatly – but you can also ensure that culture and employee engagement is an objective and key result for your entire team.

Talk About Culture Constantly

As the Executive, you are the face to your company. You’ll be speaking and communicating to your team in a lot of different mediums but you need to make sure that your priorities are consistent in those messages. When you’re speaking at staff meetings, events, in the company newsletter, at trainings, partner events, in the media – that you’re ensuring culture is always in your narrative. This reinforces regularly for your team that culture is a priority but also it gives permission for the rest of your team to make it a priority as well.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

At the top, you’ve got quite a bit of say on how your organization budget works out every year. Many say that you can tell a company’s priorities not by their mission or vision, but rather by their budget. And I have to agree! So if you really want to walk the talk you’ve got to invest. You invest in professional learning, in leadership development, in analytics that help you measure your improvements. Make sure that the money is flowing to support your teams to implement and maintain a positive work culture, so they don’t see your talk as hollow.

With all of these tactics your team will see and hear your example consistently knowing that they too have a part to play in culture change.

So, What Now?

Share with us in the comments ways that you’re going to communicate that a positive work culture is important. When’s the next time you’re in front of your staff? What are you going to say? How are you going to financially support this priority? And as always, if you have questions put those in the comments as well and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

Talk soon,


PS – December starts next week, AHHHH! Don’t worry we’re going to be talking how to wrap the year up productively and how to really handle that work-life integration, even during the holidays. Make sure you’re signed up for the email list to get an email when that series starts!