Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Want to transform your workplace culture?

No question that offices have a culture--some are lively and boistrous, others library-quiet, still others have bars on premises or video games. Some allow jeans and t-shirts, others are still going with the suit and tie thing.

Writing in Northwestern Mutual Insights & Ideas,  Jo Eisenhart, svp of human resources at the company, talks about a survey by Strategy& that showed than half of the companies surveyed wanted to change their culture.

Northwestern apparently thought it was OK culture-wise, but an employee survey was not as positive as they thought.

They took a look at their whole culture--how could they make employees feel more respected and valued?

Now--they focus on breaking down bureaucracy, eliminating unnecessary work, and encouraging innovation.

Three things to look at--and to look at changing.

--Artifacts. Things that are visible from the outside--the logo, mission statement, workspace design, breakroom amenities, and even dress code.

--Espoused values. These are the organization's beliefs, morals, ideals, and values. This can include community or social responsibility, dedication to work-life balance, that sort of thing. What organizations the company is aligned with can also show this.

--Shared basic assumptions. These are the taken-for-granted behaviors. Say the boss says he wants something "soon," in your company you know what that means. It could be a month or in a startup, a week.

Interesting way to look at things. Where are Pizza Friday and the Christmas party?

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