Do you have a great workplace culture? Are you the CEO, a front line employee, or somewhere in the middle? Is your assessment honest or are you in workplace culture denial?
Blind spots can be devastating. When we fail to see or to accept things that are happening right in front of us, the outcomes won’t be favorable.
There is a lot of talk from CEO’s in small businesses about the challenges they face with hiring, employee retention, and finding the best talent.
The trendy answer is connected to blame. Many blame it on low unemployment numbers. Mathematically there is some justification for this, it looks good, and if you lift the covers for a peak at the data it seems to justify it.
Is that all of the problem?
Have a Meeting
I see media reports of government agencies holding roundtable discussions, events, and panel talks. They play the blame game and keep asking CEO’s what they need.
Soon the conversation will shift to culture. Proud CEO’s boast about everything from installing televisions and a pool table in the lunch room, to putting in skylights, or having a nature trail behind their building.
Do these things matter? Certainly, they matter and can be valuable. Yet, these material things on their own are not a culture change.
Culture Rich Means People
Some of the most culture rich organizations I encounter don’t have any of those things. Yet, they seem to get a lot of great resumes, have good choices for hiring, and are growing their business.
Here is the thing. In a very general sense, the best people don’t want to work for an organization they want to work with an organization. It is not inclusive of everyone, but largely this is about the mindset and culture.
CEO’s who believe the path to productivity, efficiency, and revenue are accomplished with robotic contributions, need to invest in that equipment. It is not a bad idea. It just isn’t a people oriented idea.
Workplace Culture Denial
People aren’t tools and tools aren’t people.
Technology is amazing. It certainly is our future.
Invest, invest, and invest! Then invest some more.
Yet you can’t expect to treat people like robots. You’ll find some who will work like that, but others will go to an organization where they feel valued and not like a tool to get the job done.
You can’t be in denial about culture.
The culture is what you make it. Largely it is connected to the highest leadership roles, yet people in the middle or front line can make positive contributions even if there is some denial in the C-Suite.
Install your skylights, brighten the work area, and build a nature trail. It really doesn’t matter if the feeling of the people stays the same.
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.