Workplace Culture: It Starts with You

Workplace Culture: It Starts with You

How do you describe the culture where you work? Is it good or bad; safe or toxic; welcoming or intimidating? However you describe it, we all need to realize our individual responsibility for both the good and the bad in our workplace.

I’ve worked in both healthy and unhealthy environments and have witnessed how each individual in the organization contributes. Does it matter which role you fill? Leadership? Middle management? Supervisory? Non-supervisory? Yes, each one these positions and each person who fills these positions affects the workplace environment. Yes, each of you are superior at effecting change in the workplace, all you need is to accept that you have the power within yourself.

No Power?

Over the years, I’ve heard so many people say, “but I’m only one person. One person doesn’t have the power to change the culture.” I’m here to say that yes you can. It starts with you.  It won’t happen overnight, but it starts with you, whatever role you fill in the organization.

We don’t want to confuse authority with power. Non-supervisory staff may not have the authority to change policy, for example, but they have the power to make recommendations and request that management approve the changes. Up to a point, each one of you has the power to create, maintain, and repair any kind of culture you want. You do it every day as you choose what complaints to file and what errors to ignore; as you choose to speak to your co-workers in a kind way or a condescending way; as you choose to speak the truth, remain silent, or to lie. You are your work culture.

New Perspective

Let’s start a conversation about workplace culture with looking at how you as an individual can contribute to change in an identifiable and productive way. In the coming weeks, this blog will examine how each one of us has the power to create or destroy our culture at work, how organizations benefit by prioritizing the creation and the maintenance of a healthy workplace culture, and how supporting one another every day fosters positive change. Let’s choose to make things better for ourselves, our organizations, and our co-workers.

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