Culture by Design

We love talking about workplace culture, don’t we?  We love talking about it like we love talking about how next year is OUR year (insert slam on the Cleveland Browns).  How it’s going to be the biggest and best yet; the only problem is we’ve told ourselves this story year after year after year.I’ve seen this same scenario with workplace culture.  Leadership gets involved in the planning process for the organization’s “new and improved” culture.  Buzz words fly around like stink bugs and after a plethora of planning it’s set.  Set in a desk drawer somewhere never to be seen again.

Honestly, never seeing it again probably wasn’t the worst thing in some situations. The meaningless quotes and statements on how the organization values honesty, hard work, and fun as if there’s a contingency of organizations promoting a culture of lies, laziness, and depression.

I know you’re asking yourself – so what’s the point here, Blake?  Is Staffing Solutions Enterprises different?  Honest answer – I don’t know…yet.

As a leadership team, we just finished reading Culture by Design – 8 Simple Steps to Drive Better Individual and Organizational Performance by David Friedman.  I enjoyed David’s approach to culture not only for pointing out many of the errors I stated above among many others with culture but the general approach and execution.

Culture by Design has a radically different methodology from those I’ve seen before.  Its focus is on the daily behaviors of an organization’s employees. Values and ideas are concepts, while behaviors are actions.  What are the behaviors we want to exude and how do those behaviors move the organization forward?  One beneficial aspect of developing and defining these behaviors is that there is no limit to the number of behaviors you set for your organization. 

So where is Staffing Solutions Enterprises today in the process?  We’ve developed and defined 27 behaviors and have broken those behaviors into 4 categories:

  • Build meaningful relationships
  • Carry out exceptional work
  • Focus on results & business growth
  • Accomplish personal and professional growth

Lastly, we will execute our strategy on how we plan to “ritualize” these behaviors.  I wanted to write this post as not only as a talking point for us as a community to discuss the successes and failures of developing and growing a workplace culture but to also hold myself as a leader and Staffing Solutions Enterprises as an organization accountable for reporting back on this process today and into the future.

More to do. More to come.

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