02 September 2019 | Carolyn Taylor
Carolyn Taylor explains the importance of good culture in the workplace.
Everyone likes to work in an organisation with a great culture because it brings out the best in us all. Like a rising tide that lifts all boats, a good culture helps us to be more constructive, more supportive of others and more courageous with our ideas. A great culture undoubtably improves the wellbeing of those who work within it.
But a good culture does more than help employees feel engaged. Depending on where the emphasis lies, culture can also support better safety, better risk management, more customer focus and more innovation. So it's good for shareholders and customers, as well as for employees.
Many cultures, however, do not meet these high standards and, if you work in a culture like this, it is easy to feel helpless, waiting for leaders to make changes to improve the culture.
But there is actually a lot you can do as an individual, wherever you sit in the organisation. Building a good culture with the colleagues in your team, whether you are the team leader or a team member, will improve your wellbeing, as well as your ability to get things done and deliver a better experience for your customers. Good teams can still exist, even in a poor culture.
Try these steps:
- Talk to your colleagues about shared standards and behaviours that would make life better for you all. Define a short list of three or four items;
- At the end of each meeting, or each day, spend five minutes talking about how well you did, or score yourselves; and
- Call out examples of where someone in the team displayed the standards or behaviours well.
The more you focus on the positive, the more you influence everyone's behaviour to lift to that standard.
Don't wait for others to create the right culture for you. Start with small steps yourself and change your team culture.
Carolyn Taylor is founder of Walking the Talk consultancy and a corporate culture speaker