Workplace culture rarely stems from the top of an organization, despite the fact 59% of employees think it’s up to the CEO to determine changes to company culture. Employees impact the culture of their offices, and when you want to address issues surrounding possible changes to how your office interacts – good or bad – it’s up to the employees to embrace vessels for positive change.
In this post, we’ll outline five of the best ways your office can be affected by changes to company culture.
Know Your Current Workplace Culture
Ushering in change to an office’s collective company culture means understanding – in full – the culture that your office has already created for itself. Ask yourself questions about your role within your organization, and gauge what’s missing; also ask what’s working, and how you can emphasize successes.
Company culture is composed primarily of unique behaviours, attitudes, beliefs and passions that allow colleagues to collaborate, communicate, and deliver on their collective mission statement. Company culture is also more than what’s traditionally definable – it’s a feeling and an energy that’s all about the people; and people can be pretty difficult to pin down sometimes. Understanding your current state of affairs is key to affecting real change in your company culture.
Patience is a virtue, as they say. Ushering in meaningful and positive changes to your existing company culture cannot – and will not – happen overnight. Great company culture requires effort and time to perfect, and part of being patient means understanding that perfection may never come.
When employees, co-workers, and CEOs come together to address and discuss actionable changes to company culture, recognize that this is a huge step forward in a good direction. Change is coming, and all great change happens in incremental stages before vast improvements can be realized. Take your time, and dedicate your office to making small changes over time, rather than biting off more than it can chew at once – that’s just going to breed impatience.
Be Open and Transparent
When something is not working – don’t sweep it under the rug. Consider that banding together as a collective group to address issues of change and focus on company culture means that people are looking to identify problems and hurdles. Offer your opinions with respect, and be open to offers to collaborate on change, and expect the occasional bit of pushback.
Being open to other opinions and ideas geared towards affecting change in the company culture is also part of the deal; reciprocation of others’ ideas is part of growing as an organization and is required to help bring balance and fairness to the equation. Petty office politics have no place in affecting positive change, so rather than oust someone or something from the conversation for making a mistake, embrace the opportunity to refresh and regroup.
Use Your Influence to Breed Positivity
Iconic entrepreneurial speaker, Simon Sinek, would ask that everyone step back and realize leaders are seldom situated at the top of organizational structures. Great leaders and those who inspire change are often the ones who work shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers, rather than those who dictate from the top.
True leaders and those who are capable of setting positive examples for their peers and colleagues are the ones who understand their role within the company. This also can mean that everyone must ask themselves if they are part of the collective problem that needs to be solved. If you understand the vision your office is after, use your understanding and your influence as a leader to help others see that same vision. Promote a shared mission. Pass on your influence.
Planting seeds of change must begin with everyone involved in spearheading positive company culture. Take some time to create a digital thread of articles, slideshares, ideas, and concepts that address the issues your office environment is facing. You’ll find hundreds of publications that support and advocate for positive company change in the workplace. Send them to your colleagues, and especially your boss. Share what you read, and allow others to learn about what you’ve found to be inspiring and of value.
Company culture is what keeps employees coming back every morning. For passionate people who enjoy their quality of work/life satisfaction, paychecks are always secondary to enjoying their workspace, their coworkers, and the spirit of their office. Company culture affects the office most by making it a positive place to contribute to the greater good.