What is culture and why is it so important?

This month we are talking about Workplace Culture and Employer Brand. 

“Culture is to recruiting as product is to marketing.” – HubSpot’s Culture code

Let me ask you a question…… And I want you to answer honestly.

How much do you really know about your culture?

Really stop and think about it.

  1. Could you define your workplace culture if you were asked?
  2. Have you missed out on recruiting or retaining top staff because of a culture issue?
  3. Have you ever suffered from lost productivity due to your culture?

Well…If you’re anything like other leaders, you probably answered “yes” to at least one of these questions—or you may not know the answers at all.

Let’s face it: Understanding your workplace culture and its effects can be challenging.

And….you can’t just snap your fingers and create it. Not only does it need to be defined, it also needs to be lived and real. 

Can you relate?

Do you avoid culture work because you’re not sure what to do?

If so, I want us to work through an easy exercise that will help you learn about your work culture—even if you have no prior experience in this area.

Discover your Culture today in 5 steps

Sometimes, when we asked Business Owners what their culture is (or if candidates ask), they say one thing BUT the reality is very different. 

Figuring out your real culture is where you need to start for making any positive change.

And the best way to understand your culture is by asking those who are closest to it.

That’s why in this exercise you’ll be learning about your culture from the inside-out.

Follow these 5 easy steps:

1. Ask 5 staff members to describe your culture in ONE sentence

Have them record their answer on a piece of paper or in an email.

2. Go to 2 leaders and have them describe the culture in one sentence

Now you’ve got both a leadership and staff perspective.

3. Collect and compile the responses

Were there similarities?

Were there differences?

What surprised you?

By gaining the insights and opinions of your staff and leaders, you’re absorbing valuable information about your company.

You’re not only learning about your culture from leaders, you’re learning about how your employees feel. This gives you insight, but also shows that you value and appreciate your teams’ opinions.

4. Craft a statement of your company’s culture

Use your 7 statements to help you to create a culture statement for your company.

Here’s some more examples to inspire:

“We have a culture where we are incredibly self critical, we don’t get comfortable with our success.” – Mark Parker, CEO, Nike

“We believe that it’s really important to come up with core values that you can commit to. And by commit, we mean that you’re willing to hire and fire based on them. If you’re willing to do that, then you’re well on your way to building a company culture that is in line with the brand you want to build.” – Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos

“Hire great people and give them freedom to be awesome.” – Andrew Mason, Founder, Groupon

“Our culture is friendly and intense, but if push comes to shove we’ll settle for intense.” – Jeff Bezos, Founder, CEO, Amazon

5. Share what you learned

Finally, commit to completing this exercise by sharing what you’ve learned with the group.

Stop by the BespokeHR Facebook page and share your culture in a sentence, along with anything you were inspired by through the process.