Workplace Culture: You have one, but what is it?

Culture is a hot topic, and many times is talked about in correlation with the Googles and Southwest Airlines of the world. Every company has a culture, some are empowering, some are destructive, and still others may fall somewhere inbetween. Culture, in my opinion, is one of those things that you feel. Generally, it is defined by the things people know, but don’t openly say. It might be a culture based on fear, hierarchy, pressure, etc.

So, what is your culture? How do you even begin to find out? My suggestion is to ask one simple question: If you had to use one word to define our culture, what would it be? Ask your employees, ask your managers, and ask your c-suite. Don’t be surprised if the answers are different at every level; sometimes what management sees is very different from what the general employee sees.

Defining your culture is key to moving it forward. What you find out may not be encouraging, but at least you will know where to start. Perception is reality, afterall, so the perceptions of your team will help you start moving in a direction that is both strategic and deliberate.

So, how have you gone about trying to define your culture?

By: Jamie Naughton

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About Marisa

Marisa Keegan is a leadership coach, trainer, and HR consultant for quickly growing organizations who are passionate about strengthening their employees, their brand, and their culture. She has helped lead the HR, culture, and engagement initiatives at two nationally recognized great places to work; Rackspace as Culture Maven and Modea as Talent Manger. She is an author at Fistful of Talent and Culture Fanatics. Marisa has her Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology and currently lives with her husband and twin boys in Richmond, Virginia.
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