Recognizing Workplace Culture is the First Step

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recognizing workplace culture

Recognizing Workplace Culture is the First Step

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Every group who has assembled has an element of culture. Recognizing workplace culture can be tricky. It’s tricky because you are inside of it, living it, breathing it, and surviving it.

When you’re on the outside looking in, or else you’ve already taken a step inside, it may look quite different than what you consider normal.

It’s no secret that culture is driven by leadership. Sub-cultures may be driven by sub-groups, cliques, and special interests. Yet, someone is still leading those efforts. Even when they may not realize or consciously identify the leaders.

Can Anyone Fit?

Many businesses suggest that they hire for fit. Fit in some cases may mean unique skills for the job, but in many cases, it means that the candidate will fit the organizational culture.

Some might suggest that culture is about systems. Systems for work flow, systems for measurement, and systems that protect the secret formula.

Employees are frequently reminded of their need to operate within the system. Do as we say, never do this, always do that.

In a general sense, this is probably all okay. It is however, a baseline for the culture. It is also directly connected to the brand.

Recognizing Workplace Culture

When there is attraction or lust for the culture, it’s easy to find members to join.

Run an employment ad, and lots of people apply.

And yes, absolutely, the current unemployment has a cause and effect.

Setting aside the aspects connected to the unemployment rate, are people interested to work with your organization?

Are people jumping at the chance?

What is the chatter on the street? Is the appearance of the physical facilities attractive, neat, and organized? Is it historical, modern, or hi-tech? What are the working conditions, hours, and rate of pay?

Organizations have two struggles with culture.

What should it look like and what does it look like?

What happens within the culture explains the ease of success or the struggles of failure.

A really good culture may be one where anyone can fit.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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