Culture, Purpose and Engagement
What is your company culture? Are you inspired to come to work everyday to build a brighter future? Do you feel that your ideas are valued, your voice heard and your talents recognized?
Building a culture, ideally, is an intentional act.
Culture is a mix of psychology, attitudes, goals and strategies to achieve them, daily practices and stated values that define the way a company does business every day.
In a culture that values performance, teams and the individual contribution of each of its employees there is a shared feeling of “rising tides raise all ships”. In a well-designed intentional culture one finds deep levels of buy-in, involvement and willingness to share new and innovative ideas bolstered by an intrinsic level of trust from the C-Suite to the newest hire.
Culture belongs to HR in so much as it belongs to any one department. It's not, as so often portrayed, a “soft skill” that is disposable when finances get tight. A company’s long term success depends on a culture that supports its teams, engenders loyalty & respect and inspires innovation… because for innovation to take hold, you must have trust, investment and support.
Three elements to focus on as you steer the culture of your organization are:
◦ Alignment within the entire company with a clear mission, vision and values.
◦ Support for teams: investing in workshops, outings and even 1/2 days off to volunteer for local charities as a team.
◦ Trust that everyone’s ideas are valued by the C-suite and management teams. (Innovation can’t grow without new ideas and no one wants to get shot down.)
As an HR professional one of your (MANY) roles can be to lead the C-Suite to the right decisions to create the kind of corporate culture that leads to productive teams, dedicated employees and a culture of trust and innovation.
As a member of a company that may or may not already have the kind of supportive culture outlined above, you can start a movement toward this kind of workplace environment with a few daily practices.
◦ Include new people in mini brain storming sessions surrounding well-known challenges the company faces.
◦ Share your own enthusiasm about something non-work related. Love cats, that’s cool! #slack a daily hilarious cat meme to the team. Let down your guard (a little).
◦ Ask a mentor, a co-worker or a manager for advice with a concern. No man (or woman) is an island… it does, indeed, take a village.
◦ Lead by example. If the culture you want to see is a no-whine, git-'er-done culture, then be that person. If you'd like to see more openness in the workplace, then be brave and share a failure. After all, without failure we learn nothing.
Culture takes time, attention and work. Successful companies, those with an eye towards longevity, learn that nurturing culture & investing in teams is the surest way to secure a bright, innovative and flourishing future.