Company culture defines an organisation’s environment, shapes professional relationships, determines the workflow process, and directly affects employee behaviour. Every employee is affected by workplace culture, and also uniquely contributes to it. As a member of your workplace you have to be aware of what you bring to the table. Everyone plays a role in influencing the environment; recognising your influence can be key to personal and career development. It can directly affect how you are perceived, as well as your views about the current or future organisation. As you recognise the values and beliefs of both your organisation and yourself, you can begin to understand the significance of your actions both now and in the future.
Check in with yourself and your workplace
Know the environment you’re entering
To fully understand your contributions to the workplace environment, you should be able to define what that environment encompasses and its core values are. If a company wants to create a great workplace culture they should ensure employees understand the vision and motivators behind the work. That knowledge can inspire and empower employees to increase their productivity and positively impact their overall morale. As an employee, you should be able to define both the intentions of what the culture sets out to be and the outcome of what the culture actually is. It’ll be helpful to understand what parts of the workplace affect you and your job, and will guide you in knowing what steps you can take to make the most of your role.
Know yourself and how you work
Once you’ve defined the company’s core values, allow yourself time to reflect and think about the value you want to bring to the organisation. First, think about who you are, your personality, and what you need in order to thrive. Stan Slap, CEO and culture consultant says, “The first step out of the gate has to be knowing where you want to end up. What do you really want from your company?” This kind of question promotes alignment between the company and your own needs, beliefs, and actions. Next, it’s important to look at those actions to evaluate how you participate or fit within the workplace dynamics. Finally, consider how the workplace environment affects, encourages, or changes your behavior.
As you analyse your professional behaviour within the work environment, be sure to look closely at your strengths and weaknesses. When you understand your strengths, you can lean into them and use them to support your team. Understanding your weaknesses makes room for improvements and gives you a benchmark to measure your growth as you take on new learning opportunities. Consider asking teammates, friends, colleagues, and supervisors for constructive feedback as well.
It’s possible there could be a gap between the culture and your initial expectations, and it’s very important to know what is driving that gap. Not only will it help you understand your impact, but it will also help you know if this is the right place for you. Employers place value on making sure an employee will fit into the culture, and appreciate an employee’s awareness when expectations are not being reached. If there is any discomfort or concern, you’ll want to be able to identify where that is coming from to then ensure that you make the best decision about handling it in the future.
Take Action to Be a Positive Contributor
Show up, participate, engage
Never underestimate the power of showing up and being present. It’s the first step to success in any role. Yet, this takes on a whole new meaning when you set your focus on creating value beyond your job description. Especially in an increasingly hybrid and remote workforce, showing up and furthering a positive impact takes just a little more effort than completing daily tasks and attending meetings. To do your part to contribute, show up in a manner that says you are interested in the work and in your team. Turning on your computer camera, participating in discussions, asking (and answering) questions, and overall using your input to increase engagement, can make a difference in the day-to-day.
Camaraderie, friendship, and morale are key to a great company culture, even if they take a little extra effort in the modern hybrid workplace. It’s a necessity that needs to be fostered. As an employee, regardless of where you’re working, consider how you can connect with colleagues, start conversations, and form genuine relationships with others. Entrepreneurial leader Robert F. Smith says, “When you’re able to liberate a human spirit and see that spirit become its best self, that person become its best self, that is the greatest thrill on the planet.” At the end of the day, it’s about showing up for your team and showing you really care. By helping others to grow and develop you can find equal enrichment for yourself.
Lead by example – whatever your role
One person has the power to make an impact. Whether you’re the CEO or in an entry-level position, you can take on a leadership mentality and go after what you want from your workplace. Being a leader in your company doesn’t always mean you are trying to impart overwhelming change, rather it can be about spreading positivity and supporting forward-thinking. Leading by example demonstrates to others how you put organisational values into practice, and establishes credibility where you support words with actions. With knowledge of both the company goals and your personal values, you can inspire others to show the same levels of interest and care in their professional relationships to then reach their career goals. You have the potential to make a long-lasting impact on bettering your internal team dynamic and the company as a whole.
Company culture is crucial to the success of both the organisation and the individual. When it comes to thinking about the workplace environment, take the time to recognise the impact of each and every employee. Going one step further, recognise your very own impact in the day-to-day grind. Being knowledgeable about your company and yourself is the first step to ensuring you’re in the right place and can make a positive difference. From there, it’s all about having a strong presence, getting involved, and genuinely investing in those around you. Everyone contributes something, everyone can make an impact, do your part to make it a good one!
So tell us, how have you impacted your company’s culture?
Author: Binu Jacob – EFS Content Lead