Regular readers know how important organization culture is to me. For the vast majority of workers around the world, we spend more time (awake) with our colleagues and at our places of work than we do with our friends and family or at home. Whenever possible, that workplace culture should be one that we want to engage in; not just be a part of, but contribute to continually improving.
Indeed, I had the opportunity to be steeped in my company’s culture this week at our annual Ignite meeting, a kind of kickoff to the new year. While valuable information is shared at Ignite, I’m most impressed every year at seeing our own powerful culture of recognition in action. The free-flow of goodwill is apparent in casual conversations, in intentional meetings, and throughout the informational sessions that are ostensibly our reason for being there.
And that proves the truth in the statement below from the “Respectful Workplace” blog (a favorite of mine):
“Cultures don’t happen by accident. Actually, let me rephrase that – great cultures don’t happen by accident!
“They are formed when an organization spends time, money and energy dedicated to their culture. Great cultures form when habits that both reflect and build your culture become so ingrained in your workplace that they become second nature. Some organizations dedicate a committed team or a full time person to keep the cultural drum beating. Other workplaces make sure they have regular check-ups and tune-ups of their culture. Others embrace the power of conversations to keep the cultural conversation alive.”
You’re never done with your “culture campaign.” You can never turn your back on your company culture. You – and everyone else – must focus on reinforcing the best you want to see flowing through your culture, your organization, and your people on a daily basis.
This responsibility belongs to all of us. We cannot point fingers at HR and say, “They own the culture. It’s up to them to make it better.” No, we are all responsible for creating a culture of recognition and appreciation. We are all responsible for taking a moment in our busy schedules to notice the exceptional happening around us every day and thanking those people for their efforts and exemplary behaviors. We are all responsible for the environment in which we choose to work.
What do you do to make your organizational culture better for yourself and everyone else?
About Derek Irvine
The VP of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their organizations. As a renowned speaker and co-author of "The Power of Thanks" and "Winning with a Culture of Recognition," he teaches companies how to use recognition to proactively manage company culture. Derek holds a B.Comm and Masters of Business Studies from the Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin.