How does your organization’s culture impact the place where you work? Which aspects, in your view, enable success, and which aspects pose risks? Has your management addressed these issues, or will they be?
In any organization the culture will impact not only the people who work there, but the people who apply. Take Google, for instance, people apply there largely for the culture which places emphasis on projects that enhance the user experience, but also has generous work-benefits such as on site meals, allows engineers to devote 20% of their work time to personal projects, and fosters a sense of community among peers.
Ricardo Lange of the Great Place to Work Institute says “Having a culture of trust benefits the organization on every level; employees are more innovative, creative, loyal, demonstrate respect, and genuinely care about each other and about the company. What is good for the workplace is also good for the business and many of these companies also enjoy better client retention and customer satisfaction. Being a great workplace is good for everyone.”
At my last workplace our culture was defined by the idea that we were unique, the organization, which was the only jazz and blues FM station left operating in its area, was unique, and we, the employees were unique. But this acceptance of “uniqueness” also left an uneasy feeling in many new employees, who were put off by the excited screams of an afternoon DJ, or the dancing through the halls of our Music Director.
While this does not stop people from applying, or wanting to be part of the unique atmosphere, it does take some new employees a while to get their “land legs.”
Some, especially the student employees who are hired for low-level administrative tasks, never find a balance and are subject to high turnover rates.
Management seems happy with the way the station runs, or if they are unhappy they seem to have no idea how to change the game at this point. The stable of DJs is fairly well developed and most have been with the station for decades or more. The problem comes down to the administrative sector, which seems to be less important in the eyes of management, and so nothing is done about the high student-worker turnover.
Great Place to Work Institute; Announcing the 2010 Great Place to Work(R) Rankings: The Best Small & Medium Workplaces Presented by Entrepreneur(R)
Anonymous. Marketing Business Weekly. Atlanta: Sep 26, 2010. pg. 124