Building Culture from the Bottom-Up
Despite the economic havoc wreaked by the pandemic, there are companies where people are happy, engaged, and productive. On the other hand, even before Covid-19 struck, companies such as KraftHeinz were known as toxic places to work at and people could not wait to get out fast enough from there. It is easy to blame leaders and managers for poor organizational culture.
However, organizational culture is not a fixed entity. In the words of author Daniel Coyle, “Culture is not something you are. It is something you do.”
The three major aspects that are within each individual’s control to build culture are:
2. Nurture belongingness: Research indicates that having friends at work improves engagement levels and performance. If you can make other people feel like they belong, the workplace will become much better to work at. And irrespective of the overall culture of the organization, your own team can have a ‘microculture’ where people feel a sense of belonging and bonding.
3. Create a shared purpose: Whether it is team meetings or team deliverables, ensure that your colleagues and you are clear about the ‘why’ of what you are doing. Define your ‘ways of working to set protocols that everyone is comfortable with, around team meetings, deliverables, coaching and mentoring, and the way things are done in the team.
It certainly helps if the leadership of an organization works to drive organizational culture and to link it to the vision and mission as well as organizational strategy. However, through a bottom-up approach, every individual can influence and improve the culture that they work in and make work more fun and rewarding. So are you ready?
About the Author
Founder of eleventHR Consulting.
Sumit has been working in HR & HR consulting roles for 16+ years across sectors and verticals and specializes in organization design, wellbeing, storytelling & design thinking, and performance management. In his career with consulting firms such as Aon, Deloitte, and Accenture, he has successfully led programs aimed at total HR transformation for clients. Recently, as Associate Director for India Consulting at Deloitte, he worked with clients on cultural transformation and HR process and policy design. He also organized and spoke at conferences and events about a variety of topics relevant to HR today. Now self-employed, he works with clients across the globe on a variety of HR solution areas.