Tag Archives: culture

  • 0
workplace seniority

Workplace Seniority Has Lost Its Appeal

Tags : 

Does workplace seniority matter? It seems that like a fairy tale, once upon a time it did.

There are as many flavors of job promotion philosophy as there are Baskin-Robbins ice cream, and then some.

Certainly, labor unions may have something to say about it. Aside from any organized labor structure what is the vibe on seniority in the workplace?

Is it a thing, or is it gone?

Organizational Purpose

Let’s get really clear. Whatever organization you work for, it is probably not in business to see that you get a promotion.

Employees are valuable. I’ve written many times about the importance of the human side of work. Workplace culture exists because of the collective psychology of work. It is always based on members of the group. It’s a human thing.

The importance of caring for organization members is vital, yet, can it be taken for granted?

Google doesn’t sell cellular phones because they are in the search engine business.

Dell doesn’t sell PC’s because they are trying to provide value for an accounting software package.

John Deere doesn’t sell new tractors because they are a collector’s item.

It is important for every employee to remember why they are there.

I’m fortunate to speak with many mid-level organization employees. Many of them are frustrated with their career.

My first question often is, “What do you want to do for your career?” And the response often is, “I’m not sure.”

It’s not unusual to not be sure. It is unusual to excel to greater levels when you are not.

In fact, by today’s standards, it may be unusual to keep your current position if you expect a permanent status quo.

Workplace Seniority

Many employees grow stale and stagnate while they expect the organization to take care of them. Yes, years of service matter, and yes, long-term contributions matter.

Yet, the organization is not in business to see to it that there is always a path forward for the employee. The path forward is about business. While these lines may occasionally cross, there typically are no guarantees.

Often the best thing you can do for your career is to figure what you want to do and what matters most for you personally. Then figure out how that knowledge and those skills can provide value to a business.

You may have to re-tool. Gain new skills, repackage yourself, and show a different kind of value.

Just because you have been around for a while, doesn’t mean that it is owed to you.

That is just a fairy tale.

-DEG

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 Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


  • -
emotion binds

Emotion Binds, It Does Not Distract

Tags : 

Do you let feelings get the best of you? Have you ever been told to stop being emotional? The truth is, emotion binds you to the experience. It may be the most important connection you make.

You’re driving in your car and an oldie comes on the radio. You remember a moment, a situation, an experience that touches your heart.

The high school or college graduation you attend. You remember a time when you were in a similar position and you wish for his or her dreams to come true.

It’s also true at weddings, first bicycle rides, first cars, and your first home.

It may even be true at your first job.

A bit of nostalgia.

As a person you connect to things based on emotion.

For your workplace, do emotions matter?

You bet that they do. We are an emotionally driven species.

Emotion Binds

I have a few clients who have been known to state, “Remove the emotion!”

When the opportunity is right, I’ll urge them to reconsider this statement.

The last time I checked, passion for the work is based on emotion. Caring about the customer is based on emotion, and accomplishing something new or different is aligned with emotion.

Do you want culture. Culture isn’t based on something tangible. It’s deeply rooted in emotions.

When you constantly remind the team to remove the emotion. You may be self-defeating the change or culture you’re actually trying to create.

Do you need buy-in for your change? Get people emotionally involved.

Are you trying to make a positive pivot for your culture? It’s connected to emotions.

Do you want people to do their best for the customer, put the customer first, and build strong relationships? It stems from caring. Caring comes from emotions.

Emotion may be the most underrated aspect of workplace productivity, efficiency, and employee loyalty.

It will be a positive influence on culture, or it won’t.

-DEG

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 Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


  • -
teamwork give

Teamwork Give, Are You Doing It?

Tags : 

Giving more, means more. What are you willing to give? In the workplace, teamwork give may be one of the most constructive things you can do.

People often ask, “What do you have to lose?”

Instead we should be asking, “What do you have to give?”

The psychology of work drives everything. It is an element of culture, the associated environment, and the outputs of the organization.

What happens when we give more:

  • patience
  • trust
  • empathy
  • responsibility
  • benefit of the doubt?

Do any of these have a positive return on investment? Do they make a difference?

Culture or Environment?

Many organizations believe that they have a thriving culture. Yet, they often lack some of the essential ingredients.

When you ask about culture do you get answers connected to the environment?

We brightened the room.

We provided a walking trail and a fitness room.

Some of our cubicles went away and were replaced with open space.

In a general sense, these are all related to the environment, not the culture.

Culture has some connections to the environment but environment alone does not illustrate the culture. Culture is comprised of many things and it starts with behaviors, attitudes, and a feeling that develops from the people.

What are you giving to your team?

Teamwork Give

We can give a lot of things. More respect, more trust, and even more patience.

Empathy matters. So does negative bias and stereotyping.

Is there ridicule or more benefit of the doubt?

Do you want employees to care more? Give them more responsibility, empowerment, and involve them in decisions.

Working overtime on your culture may be the simplest thing you can do to make the organization better.

Are you getting a good return on your investment?

Give more.

-DEG

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 Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


  • -
boss decides

The Boss Decides How Service Will Look and Feel

Tags : 

Front-line employees are expected to follow the path created for them. The boss decides what that path will look like and how it should be followed. Does this system work?

Sometimes.

Largely though, the path created has some flaws. There are unexpected obstacles and hurdles. The flow chart reaches decision loops and dead ends.

Systems and People

Consequences for a failed system are shown on the income statement, or dealt with by the front-line, or both.

A system working in the black doesn’t mean that the system is working, at least not as completely or effectively as it could.

What could go wrong? It’s designed by the boss.

Businesses are comprised of a system. They’re also comprised of people.

Are investments made in the people?

What is the hiring practice? Hire a friend of a friend? The bosses relative? Are these the best choices?

Are people in the system listening?

Does the system allow for empathy and compassion?

What is the culture? Are employees trained and invested in, or are they viewed as a tool to accomplish a task?

The Boss Decides

Most workplaces are held to a standard.

There is always a culture and likely sub-cultures. Those components are developed by the boss. The boss decides what the organization looks like.

Most employees only have a few choices.

They can role model exactly what the culture illustrates, in a failed system or failing culture they can attempt to role model something better, or they can leave.

When the employees care enough to try to make a difference will anyone listen?

The boss decides.

-DEG

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 Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


  • -
bright futures

Bright Futures Start With Your Story

Tags : 

Are you a product of your story? The easy answer is, yes. Bright futures start with the story you are telling. Without a good story, the future may be dim.

The interesting aspect of any story is its purpose. We tell stories for warnings, pleasure, humor, advice, branding, fear, and especially to promote change.

Think about your conversation yesterday, and the one you’ll have today. What is its purpose? Is it for preparation, strategy, or change?

Social media tells a story. So does the mainstream news.

Your co-workers have a story, what are they telling?

Your boss has a story, so do the investors.

There is a story at the barber shop, a story on the radio, and a story in your email in-box.

Certainly, it makes sense to stay on top of some news. It also makes sense to think for yourself about the information you receive. Question the motive, the reason, and the purpose.

Everyone claims to want a bright future, yet what is their story?

Bright Futures

Is fear more attractive or interesting than success?

Is anger more desirable than peace?

What is your top story? What are you going to talk about today?

Maybe the story you want to tell isn’t the story that will help create the path to the future you desire.

Whatever narrative you are listening to, or telling, it will have a lot to do with what happens next.

What is your language describing? Does it matter?

Bright futures start with a story.

What is your story?

-DEG

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 Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


  • -
recognizing workplace culture

Recognizing Workplace Culture is the First Step

Tags : 

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.

-DEG

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 Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


  • -
typical workplace behaviors

Typical Workplace Behaviors Tell Us About Culture

Tags : 

McDonald’s has a typical hamburger. Not a great deal different from Burger King, Wendy’s, or Carl’s Jr. Similar things tell us about what is typical. Are there typical workplace behaviors?

You bet.

In some communities the typical workplace behavior is far different from others. Pay scales may be different, opportunities are different, and the talent pool, well, it’s different.

In all cases we identify what is typical. We look at the norms, the behaviors and the values and beliefs. Once spotted, we label them, typical.

Typical for Culture?

Many organizational cultures talk about competition, efficiency, and quality. Some embrace sports teams, political currents, or even religious pathways. It may not be typical, but it is typical for those organizations.

Setting aside any legal aspects, the people are at free-will to determine what culture looks like. Management always has expectations, are they good role models?

Certainly, there are always outliers. There are the extremes. Extreme complacency, revolt, or even fast-trackers. Yet, the masses seem to make up the true definition.

Hard chargers often don’t like average. Those on the victim side of the scale don’t really high-performers. Every culture has a definition though.

How would you define yours?

Typical Workplace Behaviors

When you know who your organization really is, then it is much easier to define the customer. It is better for focus, commitment, and overcoming adversity.

Being on the same page, and, all in it together, takes on a more intense meaning in practice.

You should ask yourself, “What am I role modeling?”

Your brand depends on it.

So do your customers.

-DEG

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 Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


  • -
building workplace culture

Building Workplace Culture Takes Time

Tags : 

Every organization has it, and it wasn’t built overnight. It’s difficult to know exactly where it started, and it is never finished. Building workplace culture is a fluid process, not one single event.

You assume everyone knows. You assume everyone is on the same page. Is it true?

What is Culture?

Culture is different from environment. Culture is not about the lighting, the color of the paint, or the size of the leather chair. It’s not about break rooms with X-Box, or fruit and vegetable offerings instead of candy bars.

People often confuse workplace environment with culture. While they may cross paths, they really are quite different.

Culture is has something to do with the rules of the game. It is the language, the tone, and the demonstrations of role models. You can describe the culture you want, yet it will still largely form on its own.

Actions and reactions will guide culture. Tolerance, or a lack of it, will play a part. And yes, in some ways the physical environment will either support or detract from the path of culture.

Money probably doesn’t buy culture, yet it may become a part of it.

Culture is about a vibe. It is about what you see, what you value, and what you believe. It involves socially accepted norms.

The big picture of culture is often hard to describe. You often feel it before you can see it.

Building Workplace Culture

The government has a culture, so does General Motors, Harley Davidson, and SpaceX. Institutions of higher education have a culture, and so does the family restaurant down the road, and the hardware store across the street.

Every person, every day, contributes. It shifts and people navigate. Everyone plays a role.

Sometimes the hard part about a plan to build a culture is that the plan itself becomes an obstacle.

A plan to fall love can’t really be built, it develops.

Its similar with culture. You can love the idea of what you want it to feel like, but it always takes its own shape.

You’re a part of it.

Do your part.

-DEG

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 Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


  • 2
workplace talk

Workplace Talk and What You’ll Get

Tags : 

What is the chatter about? What is the workplace talk? Culture develops from the people. It includes the interactions and reactions of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Nearly everyone influences someone. People are role models. Your workplace is a great place for observation and duplication.

What is the image of your organization?

What is your workplace culture?

Reputation and Brand

The marketing program that suggests the focus is on the customer doesn’t sell when the actions and behaviors are not illustrating that focus.

When the managers behavior is, do as I say, not as I do, there is a problem.

Anytime you have bait and switch, at any level, trust is disrupted. Sometimes, it has long-lasting or permanent affects.

In every workplace, you get what you focus on.

Behaviors, talk, and reputation will set expectations. Expectations are created from perceptions. Perceptions are regarded as reality.

You build a brand.

Workplace Talk

What happens next for everyone is what is being talked about right now. It creates the focus, the drama, and guides the future outcomes.

Think carefully about what you say. Consider the chatter, and your contributions.

Doom and gloom are easy to find if that is what you’re looking for. You have a choice to create more too. Just choose to discuss it over and over again and it will appear.

Making a difference for something better starts with setting expectations.

Care about the culture you’re creating.

Focus on what you want things to look like in the future.

-DEG

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 Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


  • -
cultural pressure

Cultural Pressure Shapes What Happens Next

Tags : 

Every workplace has cultural pressure. Even teams that work remotely instead of in the same physical space have cultural pressure. It is what causes the shape and flow of what happens next.

What is your form of cultural pressure?

Observations Impact Culture

We’ve all witnessed some pressure during the pandemic of 2020. Aspects of group dynamics, fear, and government rules shape the current culture.

Stay home.

Wear a mask.

Wash your hands.

Those who do and those who don’t are observed. They are judged. Judged as conforming, abiding, and doing the right thing. Or, judged as a rule breaker, an outcast, or a threat to preserving the prescribed approaches.

People who talk about what is happening add to the pressure. The news media, social media, and friends and family. This becomes a dynamic, a following, and a sense of belonging or not.

Every workplace has cultural pressure. Some of it may include ground rules, government regulations, and the modeling of leadership behaviors.

The employee teams ultimately decide what they will embrace. Pressure to conform increases when the percentage participating rises. Sometimes we call it peer pressure. Sometimes it has no label at all.

It becomes a factor in decision making, problem solving, and critical thinking.

Cultural Pressure

What happens next will be conditioned on the hysteria of the people. The mix between a desire for what they once sought after as normal, their fear, and the culture of those around them.

So called role models will have an impact. They’ll carry responsibility for shaping behaviors in public and to a lesser extent in private.

Everyone will have a choice. A path to follow or a path to abort.

Keep in mind others are watching.

You’ll be modeling your own future.

-DEG

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 Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


Search This Website

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Upcoming Public Events

  1. PACD Management Summit

    September 2 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  2. Management and Leadership Certificate (Virtual Training)

    September 22 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
  3. Masterclass : Leadership Metrics and Accountability – Remote Teams

    September 29 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

Strategic, Competency, or Needs Assessments, DiSC Assessments, 360 Feedback, and more. Learn more