The workplace is somewhere that we will invest a lot of years in our lives. We start out as entry-level employees and climb up that ladder of promotion and success. Or you’re someone who gathers experience from different companies to boost your resume. The thing is, we will spend most of our adult lives working, and the workplace culture is something that we cannot avoid.
Workplace culture is the one of the most important things a leader or CEO must manage. If not, there is a tendency will be someone who will stir up a different culture that might be detrimental to the overall productivity and performance of the company. More than the revenue and reputation, CEOs must closely look into their employees and the culture that they are in.
Amazon has been under fire for the past weeks and months for their alleged workplace culture. People have been coming out and testifying how they are treated, and almost all of these stories are negative. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos denied these attacks and said that they have zero tolerance on such kind of attitude in their company. He may know it or not, but some CEOs tend to be blind on what their workplace culture really is. When his presence is in the office, people would tend to mask themselves for them to not lose their jobs, but go back to who they really are when he is not there anymore.
Michael Stallard presents three kinds of cultures (he describes them rather as subcultures) in the workplace on a relational perspective: control, indifference, and connection. In control, people tend to do everything to gain dominance, even as far as abusing others and stepping down on them. In an indifference culture, they become very busy that no genuine relationships are made. These two cultures obviously has negative effects on the workplace. Even though their performance overall might be good, the morale in the workplace is not. This leads to anxiety and loss of motivation.
On the other hand, in a connection culture, leaders and employees work closely with each other. They invest themselves in managing employee welfare and taking care of their needs. Workers under this kind of leader on this kind of culture would feel motivated and satisfied with their work. Performance and productivity will grow and everyone wins.
How does a company achieve a connection culture? The leader can start by hiring people with the right attitude. They are better to work well with and they are teachable. Remove the ones who are negatively affecting the culture. Even though they are performing way better than the others, the company will benefit in the long run having them gone. Lastly, take care of your employees. Let them know that they are valued, and surely they will do their best and perform better.
What if you’re an employee? You can start changing the culture by doing something about it. Let your co-workers know the value of a connection culture, and communicate that it is possible for them to have a good workplace culture, since they are in it and they will benefit with it.
Changing the culture in your workplace is possible, and it starts with the leader. Google has achieved it in the Project Oxygen Research, and it can happen too in your workplace. Changes in culture do not happen overnight. It is a process that will take a long time depending on the people involved, but a good workplace culture will be beneficial in the years to come.
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