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Guest Blog

What is the culture like where you work?

A guest blog by Jeremy Watson, from Kings-Way Communications

Does work culture really matter?

Growing numbers of companies and organisations, both small and large, are recognising the need to invest into the ‘emotional capital’ of their work environments. The benefits of having happy employees are obvious, but it is more than just that. It is about ‘embracing’ employees more closely into the heart of the business, ensuring that they are actively involved in decision-making which in turn can unlock previously untapped potential both individually and corporately.

In a recent article published by the Chartered Institute of Marketing called Cultural Capital, one of the key challenges highlighted was the need for a genuine commitment to cultural change. Organisations that just had the rhetoric created a ‘say-do gap.’ It evidenced cases where a lack of genuine commitment had resulted in toxic environments which produced the polar opposite of what had been intended. Good people just left.

A survey of 5,000 people in 2019 revealed that 56% said company culture was more important than salary and amongst the millennials this figure rose to around 65%. So, what is a workplace culture? If it is about what people say, do and feel, how do you go about changing that? It starts at the top of the organisation. There must be a commitment to invest both time and energy into the process.

This ‘transformational process’ begins with establishing vision. Having a clear and shared vision for any organisation is vitally important. Aiming to be as profitable as possible, or providing the best possible service or product is all well and good, but these are not likely to inspire the workforce, or be catalytic in moulding and transforming the culture. People not only have to ‘see’ that there is a vision, they also need to understand how they are an important part of journeying towards its realisation.

Most organisations are structured in silos. Vertical and hierarchical structures are the norm. From an operational perspective, it makes sense to focus on the most efficient structure to meet required outputs and make everyone accountable and responsible. But what might happen if a commitment was made to build horizontal relationships as well, and not just via occasional corporate or social gatherings, but as a planned and managed process that became part of the organisational fabric?

Creating dedicated, clear space within overloaded and busy work lives sounds like a heavy investment. In one sense it is, but the evidence is that the payback of making new connections in these spaces is substantial. Not only does it increase productivity, it also fosters unity and encourages growth. Even with the impact that the Covid pandemic has had on many work regimes, it is still possible to achieve the transformation of workplace cultures to see true organisational development.

Being part of a business or enterprise that has created a strong family fabric around a shared vision is still a rarity. But the numbers are steadily growing where a light has gone on and they are journeying a planned process. For the people that are employed there, it has transitioned into a way of life. No more just going to work.

Jeremy Watson works with organisations and businesses helping them to transform cultures and navigate organisational development

Mobile: 07970 778 595

Kings-Way Communications, 21 Wyndham Grove, Priorslee, Telford, Shropshire. TF2 9GL.


Image Credit - https://unsplash.com/@wocintechchat