All this Starts Using Workplace Culture!
Workplace Culture is the way in which we do things around here – and it creates an atmosphere that impacts on business performance, compliance, reputation and staff engagement.
From the round the turn of the century I was carrying out a briefing (as a consultant) for a tiny team of executives from an expert firm. We were debating building fantastic workplace culture what happens to be workplace bullying. The majority of the senior team were getting passionately involved in the discussion. Women executive who was not too passionately involved and obviously quite annoyed about the full time it absolutely was taking to go over this kind of’ineffectual’matter stood up and blurted’Actually all I want to know is how far I can go before we call it bullying ‘. No unreasonable question but perhaps it absolutely was the lack of thought and sarcastic tone in the delivery that drove me to react (and quite unprofessionally I might add)’Well how far do you want to go?’ I replied. And in addition she responded:’Well that’s what we are paying you to inform us Stephen Bell-HR Expert!’ Suddenly I was caught in the battle. There have been some smirks, giggles and’oh yeahs’from a couple of of the ten executives that have been sitting round the table. Most of an immediate I was being hit head on by’the way in which we do things around here.’
This was, actually, an opportunity for the Regional Director to remain true and point out the organisational values. This was an opportunity for the HR executive to make a speech about causeing the an engaging workplace for folks and the lines must be drawn by the value of our values. And then I, Stephen Bell (HR Expert!) could recite the definitions outlined in local OH&S guidelines. None with this happened. Used to do lamely recite the values probably with a quarter the conviction the Regional Director would have and encouraged them to turn to page 20 within their manuals where they may find the area definition of workplace bullying.
The Regional Director and HR Director remained relatively silent; the discussion lasted another 20 minutes before all of us cordially shook hands and splintered off within our different directions to lead our completely different lives. I left with a specific feeling about that organisation -‘Arrogant, undefined about behaviour and culture, aggressive and rudderless, lacking leadership.’ Perhaps unfair judgements, but real and powerful feelings for me. And if’that moment’was indicative of the leadership behaviours,’arrogant, undefined about behaviour and culture, aggressive and lacking leadership’become justifiable descriptions of the workplace culture. And in’that moment’it was actually what was not said by the Regional Director and HR Director that was stronger than what was actually spoken by the woman executive.
I also left that session with a resolve to never walk into an exercise session about workplace bullying and culture without’my actors ‘. Yes those actor friends of mine ensure people could see what we mean by’on the line’rather than discussing it. It absolutely was also then that I decided that iHR Australia and iHR Asia would start emphasizing assisting organisations to properly define their workplace cultures so that leaders could properly articulate that which was meant with a desirable, compliant and productive workplace culture that attracts the type of people we want. Moreover my actors will give them the chance to observe how they act everyday features a direct impact on culture and subsequently on performance, compliance, reputation and staff engagement.
Defining workplace culture or the way in which we do things around listed here is an appealing process. It is approximately creating statements that align to organisational values but are far more active. The workplace culture statement is an indicator of the pattern of behaviours we should see. Like a workplace culture statement arising from the often articulated workplace value’Respect’may be’We pay attention to and analyse the professional views of others ‘,’We pay attention to ideas and views from those around us or’We don’t personally attack individuals when giving them professional feedback ‘. When developing’culture statements’you might not cover every behaviour for every single probable situation, nevertheless you leave leaders and employees within the organisation in without doubt what the’indicative behaviours’of the organisations workplace culture are.
Generally, organisations which are making the effort to clearly articulate what the workplace culture should appear to be are actually becoming strategic about workplace culture. Meaning recognising that workplace culture can be a driving aspect in achieving organisational goals. They realise that culture can drive a variety of important components of the organisation. In order to explain the’business’impacts of a good, bad or indifferent workplace culture I’ve identified three key workplace culture areas of impact. Simply I’m saying that workplace culture impacts on:
Organisation, team and individual performance;
Brand perception for current and future employees, customers, stakeholders and business partners;
Compliance, in particular the organisations ability to comply with policies and regulations.
Within my forthcoming articles I will explain why I think workplace culture must be area of the strategic agenda for organisations aiming for sustainable success.
In 2009 as we start to emerge from the economic recession brought upon predominantly by an industry, and subsequently, workplace cultures where in actuality the unacceptable often became acceptable it’s interesting to ask ourselves where business cultures will find themselves in 2010.
Anticipating the danger is that leaders will feel compelled to immerse their organisations in practices that reduce risk and drive a conservative rigour that, will in turn, stifle workplace cultures once labelled innovative, responsive and entrepreneurial.
Founding director and CEO of iHR Australia and iHR Asia, Stephen Bell is an entrepreneur, business leader and renowned facilitator. Under his leadership, iHR Australia has established a varied client base which range from government to significantly more than 2000 multi nationals, large corporates, Start Ups/Greenfields and Not-for-Profit organisations across Australia and Asia.