If you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. But how can you genuinely love what you do every day of your life? As much as you may enjoy your job, all have drawbacks. Whether specific tasks or colleges, stress and expectations or even demanding customers; there is no perfect workplace. However, there is the perfect workplace mindset — there is the perfect culture.
What is culture?
For the word ‘culture’ to have meaning in any workplace, it must first be defined in simple, yet specific, terms which correlate to all aspects and members of a team. Such a definition will vary from environment to environment, however, there should always be some fundamental underlying ideas:
- Positivity. A culture that encourages and develops a positive outlook amongst team members is limitlessly beneficial. Principally, positivity equates to productivity. However, the positivity I refer to runs far deeper than walking into work with a smile on your dial and saying, “Hi! 😃”, to your colleagues. Rather I refer to a culture of positivity, underpinned by the team's collective strength, that endures and ultimately prevails over hardship. While it is unrealistic to expect constant happiness from all, it is up to those in a positive state of mind to bring up those around them.
- Accountability. A sense of responsibility is fundamental to any team culture as it ensures team members are able to recognise both their right and wrongdoings and, in turn, respond accordingly. A crucial element of a culture of accountability is also to resist the temptation to place blame on others and rather encourage each team member to reflect critically, yet constructively, on their own actions.
- Communication. A high degree of understanding amongst a team is crucial to it working efficiently. Strong lines of communication regarding both positive and negative feedback, employee grievances, challenges and daily happenings facilitate a happier workplace and, in turn, happier customers. Moreover, good communications encourages the timely and thorough resolution of all problems whether relating to co-workers or customers.
How is good culture cultivated?
With these factors in mind, the culture code of any workplace is futile unless positioned at the forefront of workplace priorities. In order to achieve any desired culture, its ideas must be reinforced to the extent where the culture becomes the lens through which all team members view their work in its entirety. With your ideal culture defined, the process of achieving these goals should take centre stage. The best way for leaders to integrate the desired culture into a workplace is to ensure the different aspects of the culture code flow from one to another. For example, say three key aspects of a culture code are: customer growth, self-development and adding value; then process instilled within the minds of team members should be, “My principal focus is customer growth; to achieve this I must constantly be looking to develop myself so that I may add value to my customer and my workplace”.
In a Nutshell, culture is the foundation upon which all workplaces are built and thus has the capacity to elevate both the individual and the team above day-to-day setbacks and challenges in the workplace. However, given its abstract nature, workplace culture is seldom addressed in the thorough way necessary. Culture is created by leaders, not implemented and thus whether you're a team member or manager, your cultural focus must be a long term one; targeting the process rather than the outcome.