As I write this blog, it is early July here in Melbourne town.
Early July = several things.
1: It’s cold and often rainy. Man, do I desperately need to chase some cosmics.*
2: We are in the heart of footy season. But that’s all I’m gunna say about that, because I’m currently on a break from football.
There is only so much heartache one can take after all. #I’vegottheblues, only this time, it’s not a good thing. Unlike when I wrote this blog in 2020.
3: Tis the start of the new financial year. Huzzah! Because whilst I am no accountant, or any kind of $ guru, what I am is a workplace culture nerd. And I LOVE July because the new financial year heralds the perfect time to refocus on your workplace culture.
I have several clients who are doing just that, utilising the new financial year to focus on their culture by engaging Workology Co to conduct a cultural audit / health check.
Why? Because they understand that to move towards an exceptional culture, or retain the great culture they currently have, they need to understand where their culture is NOW.
Armed with that information and recommendations courtesy of yours’ truly, they can subsequently devise an organisational specific strategy for how to move forward.
Definitions of workplace culture
One of the most common questions I am asked by prospective clients is this: What actually is workplace culture?
Well my friends, let me fill you in.
I suspect that most people reading this blog will have heard this often-cited definition of culture– it’s the things we do around here.
Ok, sure. That can work. But I think the answer is much broader than that.
When researching for Workology Co’s white paper, I spoke to and surveyed around 30 people, including many senior HR professionals.
In other words, peeps in the know when it comes to culture.
Here are a few of my favourite definitions.
I would say that workplace culture is the common values that sort of bind a team together and bonded business together.
Everyone striving for the same mission and vision but with respect and acknowledgement for others.
The collection of norms and unwritten processes in a workplace.
Annnd last but definitely not least, a personal favourite of mine:
How you feel when you come to work. You should be able to bring your full self into the workplace and be respected for it.
Brilliant, thanks. Can you tell me what that looks like in practice?
Great question, unknown but avid reader.
And the answer is: Yes I can, and I will!
The White Paper found the 6 key ingredients to exceptional workplace culture are:
I’ve written about these key ingredients once or twice before.
Here is a link to some of the most popular blogs:
In 2020 I also hosted a series of live sessions where I ran through more details about the ingredients. Here are three of my personal favourites.
- The one where I focused on psychological safety and why inappropriate workplace behaviour is it’s antithesis. Link here: https://bit.ly/weeklylive9Dec
- Holly Cardamoneof Blue 51 Communications talking about the power of communication within organisations; AND last but not least
- Rick de Paiva from Avanco Leadership discussing the traits of great leadership and challenges currently facing leaders.
The Workology Co brand image includes colourful cogs on a wheel (in appropriate brand colours of course). The cogs on the wheels represent the key ingredients of culture. When all the cogs are working in beautiful synchronicity then voila! Exceptional workplace culture.
Fantastic. Now how about some real-life examples?
In a previous, pre-Workology Co life, I was privileged to work with one of my all-time favourite clients, whose name rhymes with Dexter.
(Side note/ clever segue into noting that Dexter is one of my favourite all-time TV series. What’s not to love about a show that can actually make you feel sympathy for a serial killer?!? ).
What made this organisation so bloomin impressive? Well, in part, it was the Mabo, the Vibe.
As soon as you walked into the place, there was a special brand of positive energy that I could have sworn you could both smell, and touch.
Sure, yeah, part of that was the fully stocked (massive) bar and hang out zone, which included a basketball ring and arcade games, spaced out around the breakout area.
Partly it was the visual evidence of the value the biz placed on recognising their employees’ efforts.
Without a doubt, a large part of the ‘vibe’ was the way employees clearly loved the place they worked for and were both completely committed to the purpose of the organisation, and proud of the work their employer was doing.
And when I say ‘employees’, I mean from the MD down. Another great example of workplace culture: an Executive team who embodied the values of the organisation.
Famous examples of exceptional workplace culture include Netflix, Google and closer to home, Atlassian.
Honestly though, any business that recognises culture is important, and is prepared to put in the work to improve the current culture, is going to be a winner in my books.
So, when I get those messages from new clients ready to invest in their culture**, it gives me All the Feels.
A little like that feeling of sunshine on a winter’s day.
*Catching cosmics means chasing down those rays from the sun to soak in much needed Vitamin D. And get a tan. Safely via appropriate use of sunscreen of course. 😁
** If you are keen to understand more about what investing in your organisation’s culture, then reach out and let’s chat via an obligation free, 30-minute discovery call.