"Too many of us go through our workday avoiding feedback conversations, or anxiously preparing to give someone feedback only to stumble through it to little effect. The giver doesn’t feel heard and the receiver is not quite sure what they heard – or what to do with it. In our extensive research and work with all types of teams and organizations, we’ve seen that for feedback to be effective and constructive we need to think about it differently – as a two-way street."
"The fear of the unknown can be powerful, but when you eventually do the thing you’ve been avoiding, it often ends up working out just fine. Or better yet, often something good happens from the unknown. You get a date, you get that time off, you don’t get that time off and realize it’s time to think about working somewhere else. Or, if you’re like my friend, you find that the most ominous looking of all the mail was actually your tax return – money back!"
Your workplace culture may seem difficult to assess, but just like quarterly reports, recruiting numbers, and inbound requests, it can be measured and charted.
In the 2x2 below you’ll see culture measured on two axes. Strength, the x-axis, describes the intensity with which the culture pulls on individuals’ behavior. Positivity, the y-axis, indicates the degree to which people are pulled toward affirmative behaviors by the culture.
How strong is your workplace culture? Very strong? Is that a good thing? "Strong" is a word you’ll often hear championed in the workplace, and if you ask executives if they want different aspects of their company to be strong they’ll nod vigorously in response. But "strength" is a modifier: strong growth, strong quarterly reports; strong recruitment. You’ll get a more tepid response from executives when you mention strong competition, or strong staff turnover rates. So while you may want a strong culture, it’s just as important that it's a positive culture.
When evaluating your culture, you need to determine where it lies on two axes before you decide where you want to move it.
Moving offices? It's the people that move with you, not the space you move into, that shape your culture.
Organizations are defined by people, not a space or location. But when you think of an organization you often think of it by its phsyical environment. Your high school is that brick building nestled into the side of the hill, or your first office is the fluorescent, overheard lights, grey shag carpet, and weird buzzing of the radiator. While that location might have seemed special (or haunting!) it was actually the people who inhabited the space that made it feel that way.
Topics: Organizational Culture
A positive culture can drive growth, increase retention, spur productivity and inspire creativity. A negative culture can lead to disillusionment, reduced engagement, and send good team members and promising talent heading for the exit. Here are three reasons to invest in building a positive culture for your company.
Culture change is difficult. Organizations, big or small, have many moving parts, and culture exists in each part of an organization. To succeed, it pays to have a plan, but before you plan, it's helpful to understand how culture takes hold. If you want to be an agent of culture change, keep these four guiding principles in mind.