In today’s fast-paced business landscape, workplace culture has become a buzzword, often tossed around with little or no clear understanding of what it really means. However, culture is not just a catchy slogan or a passing trend—it’s the lifeblood of high-performing organisations. As Dr John Amaechi wisely put it, “Culture is the worst behaviour a leader tolerates.” At Woodreed, we believe that culture is the key to creating engaged employees and building thriving workplaces. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the importance of defining and curating your workplace culture, just like your marketing team does with your brand. Brace yourself, because culture is about to become your organisation’s superpower!
What do we mean by workplace culture? There are so many soundbites to choose from…
Culture is the worst behaviour a leader tolerates – Dr John Amaechi
Culture eats strategy for breakfast – Peter Drucker
Culture is not a PowerPoint slide; it has to grow from within – Daniel Coyne
Intriguing glimpses into the world of workplace culture, yet they fail to capture its full complexity. For me, culture is something that should be clearly defined and curated, just like your marketing colleagues define and curate your brand.
1. Culture has to be defined to deliver an organisation’s objectives
Culture is not a fluffy, pink ‘nice to have’ that happens over there while business planning, strategy, and day-to-day deliverables are going on over here. It’s not an afterthought; it’s the foundation upon which everything else is built. A strong culture aligns your employees’ values, behaviours, and actions with the organisation’s goals. It drives performance, fuels collaboration, and fosters innovation. Without a defined culture, your organisation is like a ship without a compass, drifting aimlessly in a sea of missed opportunities.
2. Culture has to be defined to deliver an empowering, enabling, and enduringly positive employee experience
Your people are the heart and soul of your organisation. To attract and retain top talent, you need more than just an attractive salary package or a flexible working policy. You need a culture that empowers, enables, and uplifts your employees. A positive employee experience is the result of a well-crafted culture that supports work-life balance, encourages growth and development, and values individual contributions. By cultivating a culture that puts your people first, you create an environment where creativity thrives, burnout is minimized, and change is embraced. For me,
Culture is what makes workplaces work
And this is powerful in two key ways:
1. Culture is what makes workplaces work for the organisation and its shareholders
Your culture is the secret sauce that sets your organisation apart from the competition. It shapes your reputation, drives customer loyalty, and influences financial success. A strong, purposeful culture enables strategic execution, fosters agility, and attracts investors. It’s the invisible force that drives the behaviours of your people (from the newest recruit to the most senior leader), propels your organisation towards its goals and ensures its long-term sustainability.
2. Culture is what makes workplaces work for everyone who works there – a great place to work, a great employee experience
Imagine a workplace where employees feel a sense of belonging, where their voices are heard, and where their contributions are valued. That’s the power of culture. It defines how your organisation behaves on a day-to-day basis, especially when faced with challenges. It dictates decision-making processes, shapes responses to failures, and determines the overall work environment. A strong culture creates a shared purpose, builds trust, and fosters collaboration—making your organisation a magnet to attract, and vitally, to retain top talent.
Culture – your organisational superpower
Culture is no mere buzzword or intangible concept. It’s your organisation’s superpower—an invisible force that propels you towards success. By defining and curating your workplace culture, you lay the foundation for engaged employees, high-performance teams, and a thriving organisation. So, don’t underestimate the power of culture.
Embrace it, nurture it, and watch your workplace transform into a force to be reckoned with.
Photo credit: Cat Hadler, Creative Commercial Photography, on behalf of the Business Culture Awards