Use Workplace Culture to Drive Behavior
Smart leaders know how to use the power of their workplace culture to drive behavior that helps to accelerate their strategy and to attract, develop, engage and retain top talent.
While leaders can certainly have an over-weighted impact on behavioral norms, workplace culture rarely works according to the picture above where an individual holds more sway than the group as a whole.
Workplace Culture Exists by Design or by Default
Only in extraordinary circumstances and with a very strong, determined leader can a single individual have more influence on changing a corporate culture than the majority of the workers. By design or by default, for good and for bad, a company’s culture shapes the way most of the employees think and behave. Those that do not “fit” the organizational culture tend to leave or lose functional status and effectiveness.
The Power of Culture for Bad
The phenomenon of using workplace culture to drive behavior is active not just in the corporate world. Consider the sport of professional cycling. Somehow unethical behavior became the norm.
There will always be individuals who try to scam the system, but the “win-at-all-costs” culture in professional cycling almost invited riders to cheat in order to level the playing field. This is an example of the power of culture for bad.
The Power of Culture for Good
Let’s look instead at the power of culture for good. There was a time in the U.S. when it was commonplace for people to toss trash from car windows as they traveled the highways.
Seeing someone throw trash out the car window is sort of like seeing someone pull out a cigarette on an airplane. It is simply not done anymore.
Culture Works the Same in the Corporate World
Think of corporate culture as how things truly get done in an organization. It includes the known and unspoken assumptions and values that drive daily behaviors and practices. Though many still mistakenly consider workplace culture as “soft HR stuff,” we know that it can have a measurable impact on performance.
The Bottom Line
Be very thoughtful about the workplace culture you want to shape and encourage at your organization. It matters.
To learn more about using workplace culture to drive behavior and creating a high performance and purposeful culture, download The 3 “C’s” that Create High Performance Culture Whitepaper
4 Steps to Create Strategic Alignment
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