Creating a Culture | How Getting to Know Your People Improves Your Business

If an organization’s people is its greatest asset, and variety is the spice of life, then having a diverse group making up an eccentric organizational culture must be the ultimate goal. But how can you make sure this happens?

Beyond just creating a positive environment in which you can interact with your coworkers, it is important to get to know your people. What motivates them? Why are they here? Where do they want to go? What do they aspire to be? Is the grand total of those questions in congruence with your organizational culture?

Finding out who your people are and what they need from you can help you coach them to better your business while helping them accomplish their career goals. First, let’s take a look at what congruence means.


All About Congruence

When you’re in congruence with something, that means that you are wholly aligned. In a workplace setting, being in congruence focuses on the presence and interaction of five different facets:

  • View of one’s role - How does this person view their role in the business? Do they like it? Do they feel that it brings value to the business overall and the customers you serve? Do they feel as though their role is underappreciated or underdeveloped?

  • View of one’s abilities - How does this person view their skillset? Do they think it needs development? Do they have the skills they need to thrive in their role? Are they confident in their abilities?

  • Values - What matters to this person? What virtues and actions do they hold in high regard? What is their moral code, both at work and at home?

  • Commitment to activities - How committed are they to their tasks? Do they see the direct correlation between the things they are required to do and the success of the business?

  • Belief in the product - Does this person stand behind the product or service your company offers? Do they believe that the product or service offers value to the customers who purchase it? Is it something they would recommend to a friend or family member?

You can assess congruence by presenting these different areas with a ranking scale, asking how much they agree or disagree with the statement on a scale of 1-10. It is common for someone to feel positively in some areas while having doubts about others.

For example, an employee might have a great view of their abilities and their role, but question the necessity of some tasks that seem menial or repetitive. As a leader, you can then coach them to better understand where this task fits into the overall puzzle of your workflow or re-evaluate its necessity. To do so, you must first open the lines of communication and see where the congruence is falling short.


Coaching to Assess Congruence

To start learning more about your people and assess their overall congruence, start with some basic coaching sessions. As simple as it may seem, building a coaching rapport is as simple as asking questions and listening to the answer. Don’t just listen to respond, listen to process and hear what they are really saying between the lines. See what you can do for them to help them reach their goals. Share your knowledge, provide opportunities, and take this opportunity to praise them for the things they do well.

Of course, knowing the right questions to ask and the proper techniques for getting authentic answers is a skill set in and of itself. To become a better coach and ensure that the discussion leads to tangible results, you may need some coaching or mentoring yourself.

By coaching to assess congruence, you can help correct your peoples’ paths to ensure they are aligned with the path your business plans on taking. You may be concerned that doing this activity will bring to light that some people would be better suited for another organization. However, by giving them the tools they need to thrive within your organization, you reduce that risk. If someone decides they need to move on, it only gives you the opportunity you need to find the right person for the job.


Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

Knowing your people is about more than being able to make comfortable small talk at the water cooler about the latest episode of a television show. To know your people, to truly know them, you need to be able to identify their motivators, their aspirations, what is working for them and what isn’t. To create a culture that will keep your employees engaged and effective you need to ensure you have the right people in the right roles. Otherwise, you’re neglecting to optimize your greatest asset.


To learn more about implementing a coaching program at your workplace, contact Meredith Wailes with N2Growth.