Danny Anderson: Why Your Organization Needs a Healthy Culture

Like most people, my family loves eating at Chick-fil-A. Our food is always delicious and well prepared. (The spicy chicken sandwich will change your life). Yet, our experience at Chick-fil-A is created by more than just whether or not the food tastes good. The restaurant is always clean. The service is consistently excellent, with a friendly staff who conclude each interaction with the simple, yet powerful phrase, “My pleasure.” Chick-fil-A has an extremely attractive culture.

Culture Defined

Every organization has a culture, whether they realize it or not. Large corporations and small business. Families, churches, and classrooms. Even your local pizza shop.

Culture, though, is not easy to define. Shawn Parr described it as, “A balanced blend of human psychology, attitudes, actions, and beliefs that combined, create either pleasure or pain, serious momentum or miserable stagnation.” It’s a collection of behaviors that are established by the leader and consistently applied within an organization.

Culture is the way things feel. The means by which tasks are completed and goals are accomplished. It’s the way people interact with and treat each other within the organization. It’s how decisions are made. What is considered important, and what is of lesser priority. Behaviors that are permitted and not permitted.

For instance, my wife and I have worked hard to establish a healthy culture of respect and kindness in our family. No one in our home is permitted to use derogatory language. We do not tolerate it. Name calling is unacceptable. Mocking and making fun of each other does not fly. No “stupids,” “jerk-faces”, or “buttheads” allowed.

Why is it important that your organization create a healthy culture?

You need a team to reach your organization’s goals

Contrary to what our culture says, you cannot do it on your own. John Maxwell said, “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” In order for your organization to accomplish its mission and for vision to be fulfilled, you need a team. You need a group of dedicated people working towards the same dream.

A healthy culture allows your team to work to its highest level

When a solid organizational culture has been established, your team is free to work to their fullest potential. They are unshackled by the chains of drama, gossip, dysfunction, and dishonesty. People think better and creativity is boosted. There is better collaboration and synergy across the board. Samuel Chand said, “The way people are treated, the way they treat their peers, and their response to their leaders is the air people breathe. If that air is clean and healthy, people thrive and the organization succeeds…” A healthy culture ensures that the oxygen of your organization is pure and unpolluted.

Healthy culture creates longevity

Vision fulfillment takes time. In The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, Gary Chapman and Paul White write, “If a company can retain their quality employees for the long term, they gain an edge over their competitors through keeping costs down and having continuity in their relationships with their customers and vendors.”

When there is a healthy organizational culture, people love coming to work. It’s like family. And low turnover creates consistency. It is impossible for your organization to fulfill its mission if you are constantly having to start from scratch. A healthy culture makes your organization a place where people want to stick around for the long haul.

Takeaway

Every organization has a culture. The only question is: what kind of culture do you have?

Is your culture healthy?

Have you created the right environment where your team can thrive?


Danny Anderson is the Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Church located south of Indianapolis. Danny has hands-on experience in transitioning a church, creating and casting a new vision, simplifying programs, building teams, and launching new campuses. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Jackie, his sons Andrew and Beau, and his daughter Ruby.