Culture in the Workplace

Imagine the lilly plant.   For each of us:

  • The roots of the lily = our beliefs, deeply held
  • The low stalk – our values, based on these beliefs
  • The high stalk – our attitudes towards the world
  • The leaf on the surface – our behaviour, that others see

In the workplace

  • We learn the culture when we start
  • Some of it we see – like dress code, or hear – like using first names or not
  • And some of it is unconscious – we ‘fit into it’

“The way we do things round here” is the culture

The risk

If we make assumptions based on what we see, without checking it out, we may not allow diversity – we may in fact stifle it. People may be forced to fit, where they don’’t naturally. That creates stress. There is no openness.

That type of culture creates more of the same, and excludes diversity

So how can we do it differently?

  • Recognise stress in yourself and others
  • Avoid assumptions based on behaviour
  • Accept different approaches to things, and encourage them
  • Recognise that behaviour is only a small part of a person

This means that feedback and support are really important. But more about that next time. (There’s a name for it = appraisal)


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