The sensitivity of a workplace culture - culture is an animal.
As we progress through a journey with our clients of determining how happiness is created for each employee at work, then creating more of this via a meaningful Critical Purpose and set of behavioural Values, we move into the last, vitally important stage of Culture-building.
In a recent client session, a senior executive made the remark that 'Culture is an animal'. The remark intrigued me so much that I asked her to explain. She went on to say that in her experience as a senior corporate leader, she'd been through a number of 'culture creation processes'. But that in every case, the organisation seemed to think that once the culture had been launched - the reason why, the business expectations, the formal rituals, the all-team whiteboard sessions - it was left to survive on its own.
Company management simply expected the entire workforce team to preserve the energy and momentum that was developed in those early launch sessions - and for the business benefits to endure.
And of course neither happened. Because just like an animal. workplace culture responds to what's happening at the time - now, today, immediately. The context created when the culture is launched to an employee group shifts the moment they leave the room and return to their workstations, their actual role, to meeting customer needs or engineering the actual product.
The whole point of a workplace culture is to create a container where behaviour is continually guided. Culture can be learned - in that your team are shown experientially how to respond to situations that occur in the course of their work together.
But the only way that the culture animal can kept alive and present in your business is through consistent, regular and visible nurturing. And this has to be through the interactions that take place among your team. Most importantly, these must be consistently modelled by your leaders.
Every 'good morning', every conversation, every briefing, every email, every phone call is an opportunity to nuture and soothe the restless culture animal. To remind each other that your team culture is what keeps your business ahead. Your inherent ability, willingness and passion to keep your culture present every day, regardless of what is happening in your business, is how you stay ahead and collectively focused upon both your Purpose and your commercial success.
If you'd like help with your company culture - and want to see the dramatic impact a vibrant, all-staff owned and nurtured culture animal can have on your bottom line and business performance, let's have a chat now.