The Lie We Believe About Workplace Culture

Workplace culture is a phrase that gets tossed around a lot, and for many of us, whether leaders or individual contributors, we’re left scratching our heads, “What the heck does it even mean?”

Simply put, Workplace Culture is how it feels to work where we work. It’s not what an organization claims it is like to work there, it’s what it REALLY feels like to work there on a day-to-day basis. Workplace Culture starts with value sets: collaboration, customer-centricity, innovation, creativity, you get the picture. These values are ideals. Workplace Culture is HOW these ideals actually show up. You can call the place a “duck” but does it waddle and quack like one?

For example: An organization’s value might be “Customer Service Excellence.”  While the organization, and everyone a part of it, might be willing to do triple cartwheels to impress an external customer, but what about the internal customers? Aka Employees. Employees are front line customers. Their day-to-day experience as an employee will directly impact the experience you are trying to create for those doing business with you. If you want a Customer Service Excellence culture, then you must first start with your employees.

While workplace culture may be defined at the top, the truth is it lives and breathes on the ground level. It starts with you.

It’s a powerful thing to know we own the ability to influence our workplace culture, directly impacting employee engagement, level of energy and enthusiasm brought to tasks, projects and problem-solving. It can be the make or break for ourselves and those we work with. How do we do it?

Three Steps to Redefine Your Workplace Culture

Identify Your Core Values

What matters most to you? Do you value effective communication? Collaboration? Transparency? Make it your job to bring these values to your organization, even if the impact starts with just one co-worker, one team, one supervisor. Get clear on what you value most and own it.

Move With Intention

Influencing change takes some forethought and strategy. Once you’ve identified what matters most to you, ask yourself: Where do I want these core values to show up? Where are they missing? Find a place to start.

Communicate Ideas (Foster Collaboration)

Once you’ve figured out what you want to see more of in your workplace culture, communicate this to your co-workers/team, giving them the opportunity to be a part of it. Be strategic about partnering with those who share your core values. Be sure to bring specific examples to the conversation of how you see this core value benefiting the workplace experience and business as a whole. Offer ways you will work to support the value moving forward.

The truth about workplace culture is that all of us have the ability to shift it and shape it. Whether we are sole contributors or lead teams, we decide how we show up every single day. Workplace culture is influenced on the granular level with every communication we hold and every task we complete. In what way do YOU influence your workplace culture?

Excited to shift the culture of your organization? Join us at EANE’s Leadership Conference on April 8th for our 2-part, interactive session on HOW to influence your workplace culture, regardless of where you sit inside of your organization. We’ll uncover the truth about shifting workplace culture and demonstrate for you how to create impactful change in clear and actionable steps. Change starts with YOU, so what are you waiting for?