We are all involved in the enigma of company culture.
Company Culture represents shared values, goals, attitudes, and behaviors. Company culture should be driven by strategy and leadership and fueled by passion and innovation from the employees themselves. This is a living phenomenon where people of different backgrounds produce high-quality work formulated based on a similar knowledge and drive.
Culture is a living element of the workplace. It is constantly exposed to the shifting atmosphere experienced by the employees within a company. Anyone who is involved in the ecosystem of the company, which happens to include everyone, is accountable for their conscious behavior in order to promote a positive culture.
In order to make an impact on the broader culture, there are conscious elements of behavior to focus on. Since company culture is influenced by multi-cultural backgrounds, conscious actions are necessary in order to first formulate a positive environment where the various backgrounds can co-mingle and thrive. These conscious actions are where we first check in on our level of accountability.
People tend to find comfort in the “known” aspects of life. We know how to drive our own car; the seat is set to our exact preference and the rearview mirror displays the entirety of the back windshield. This comfortability is not going to be found immediately in a new environment. Company culture is where everyone has the ability to fit in, as it is derived from the larger ecosystem itself, but there has to be a conscious effort to make it happen.
For example, we may consciously determine who is best to work on a project with. Our office buddies, someone with the same standards as you, similar intellectual capability, etc. This may also be an unconscious decision, but because someone may have a similar method as us, we determine they are most adept to work with. However, we are then creating a potentially toxic subculture where people only work within their comfort zones. To expand out, such as becoming a project partner with a variety of team members, we not only learn from one another but develop a stronger relationship to formulate effective company culture.
Consciously implementing action items to your behavior on a day-to-day basis can help you stay accountable as a strategic partner of your company’s culture.
Accountability for Our Commitment
Our commitment above stated that we would consciously act in a manner that would redefine our comfort zone and shift our actions to benefit the general culture. It may be easy to define this goal but implementing and attaining a measurable change is an entirely different conversation.
Ultimately, we must hold ourselves accountable for the commitment we are determined to make. In order to do so, let’s continuously check in with ourselves about the actions we are taking to improve our company culture.
For example, we can make note of one goal per week, to begin, an action item we are determined to complete. This may be reaching out to a colleague for coffee/a virtual coffee chat if you tend not to work on projects together. Perhaps this action could be congratulating a peer on their effort at work or a recent accomplishment. Peer-to-peer recognition is of the utmost importance when evolving positive company culture.
Wherever your notes are kept, jot down these goals that are specific to your idea of positive company culture (and align well with the company values) and, check off how many you can complete each month. We will hold ourselves accountable for the seemingly minuscule difference we can make to an overall positive culture and realize the larger impact it has on the day-to-day standard of our work environment.
I have about 30 sticky notes in my office reminding me of action-items and culture initiatives, and that works for me. For others though, that may be a nuisance. The research I conduct in order to identify what action-items best resemble a strong correlation to implementing a positive company culture, often end up influencing my own behavior as well. If anything, this article is a reminder to myself of the benefit of being conscious about company culture, because I ultimately want myself and my colleagues to enjoy their time at work.