You Probably Don’t Understand Workplace Culture

Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA
Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA

I facilitated a session with members of the Women’s Presidents Organization the other day with my colleague, Michael Couch. The topic of conversation was how workplace culture and leadership address the complex issues of post-pandemic recovery.

Most of these business owners, as we hear from many clients, continue to deal with issues of recruitment, hybrid workplace arrangements, and creating a workplace where employees feel valued, believe in the mission, and commit to the work at hand.

The discussion of culture is always interesting because people don’t really understand it. The first question we usually get is that people want to know whether they have a bad culture or good culture.

We tell them they are asking the wrong question. The right question to ask is whether the culture is clear and aligned. Do employees know the workplace values and beliefs, and do they align their behaviors with those cultural factors? One member remarked that she thought her company’s mission was absolutely clear to her employees and when we asked her what her firm’s mission was about, she had to check her computer to see what was written on her website. If she doesn’t know the mission, then others probably don’t either.

Several asked us, “what can I do tomorrow to build a stronger culture?” One of the women shared that she owned her company for 30 years and building a solid culture takes time and can’t be done overnight

We suggest that a discussion of culture includes a well-researched and validated assessment that allows for:

  1. The beginning of honest conversations…
  2. That leads to thoughtful ideas…
  3. That result in action steps that improve the workplace and create more success.

Everyone talks about workplace culture, but few know what it is, how to assess it, and then what to do to improve it. It is a critical factor in today’s changing and evolving workplace, and if these wise women leaders struggle with it, I’m pretty confident they are not the only ones.

If you’d like to explore a bit more about your workplace culture and explore how to leverage it to improve your workplace and of course, resilience, let’s chat.

© Richard Citrin 2022

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