Culture Budget- Why Organizations Need it?

Culture budget

Culture- we have been talking about Culture for a decade now. But it turns out most organization do not have anything remotely related to organizational culture. There have only been mentions of organizational culture in the Human Resource handbook, which no one even cares to read. This is because of the fact that managing culture is really tough! Managing culture needs time and investment.

Many of us like to think culture as the driving sentiment in a workplace- Are we happy? Are we satisfied?- rather than, is the culture driving success and are we doing everything that needs to be done to uplift the organization. Culture is just not about happiness or satisfaction, culture is like any other kind of behavior, it can be assessed, measured and changed.

Better said than done, if you want to drive real change, you will definitely need a culture budget. So, what is a culture budget anyway? A culture budget is like any other operating system in the organization. It primarily focuses on the behavior and whether the people in the organization are acting in the ways that will help the organization move forward in the right direction.

When I say, organizations need a budget, I don’t mean to imply they need a ton of money. Adding a line item for culture is more about paying attention to,  at the same time modifying behaviors of the people associated with the organization. This doesn’t need a million dollars, neither does this need big programs, new policies, perks or extra benefits. It’s about taking timely action and paying close attention to what behavior changes are the employees in the organization exhibiting.  

Learn more: Top 20 Employee Engagement Survey Questions 

Following are the ways in which you can invest in a culture budget:

1. Invest in Understanding What Drives Your Organization’s Success

Stop worrying- if somebody is happy or not. Culture isn’t about how happy your employees are. If that is the notion you have been following then this is the right time to shed it. Culture is about the ways you act in, interact and behave as an organization and whether this behavior leads to the desired outcome.  

Zappos is a good example here. We all love hearing about the uniquely different culture that is followed here. Bu, 90 percent of things that Zappos does, may not fit perfectly in your organization. That’s what is so unique about culture, you cannot copy it! Look at Amazon as another example, they have recently got a lot of flak for having an organizational culture that is too hardcore. But, they are the first one to reach the $1 trillion mark, which means they are certainly doing something right to achieve that kind of success.

There is no such thing called a good culture or a bad culture, you either have the right organizational culture of you don’t have it. You are the only one who can decide whether your culture is working or not and the only bad culture is the one that’s not driving the success of your organization.

2. Invest in Gathering Culture Data

You can’t wing culture! There is a great deal of planning that goes into making it intentional. Attach that culture budget plan with a clear methodology. A great way of staying committed and making culture intentional in the organization is actually putting it on the financial statement of the company.

The next immediate step is to start collecting the data related to culture in your organization. It is very easy to rely on your gut or instincts when it comes to culture. But if there is no substantial data to validate what you know about your culture you are going to miss the mark!

Once you have the real data which is quite possibly a mixture of qualitative data and quantitative data, you are now ready to start, but start small. What are the one or two things that you know need your immediate attention, start with the low hanging fruits? This will surely make the biggest impact and is the easiest to do.

3. Invest in Time and Human Capital

Culture should be an operating system in your organization or business. Well, if this makes you feel uncomfortable because culture is meant to be something friendlier and fluffier, you are clearly missing the point. For culture to grow in your organization, you need people who will dedicate their time and efforts in helping the culture grow in the right direction.

But the only way you can ensure that these culture stewards see this as an important part of their job and roles and responsibilities is to make sure they are funded accordingly. Allocate a part of your resources to developing or enhancing culture within the organization. It is for a fact, we all own culture. But if you create a commitment around it, in a more visible way, that not only reinforces your commitment to staying intentional but also shaping the culture in your organization.

To learn more about organizational culture and how to take action from its results, visit and get started today.

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