The recent episode of Let’s Fix Work was an exciting and different one for me. I welcomed my husband, Ken, to the show! It was wonderful to have a conversation with him about art and culture and to openly discuss that people do not need to agree on everything to get along. When different perspectives on subjects create an insightful conversation in which both arguments are respected, that is a positive event. However, when it comes to discussing culture, especially culture at work, it is good to have a clear understanding of the word culture and what it represents.  

The term “culture” is often used incorrectly at work. It is used too generally. When the meaning is not clear for a word, when the meaning has been eroded, a clear conversation cannot happen. Many offices suffer from racism, bias, and inequalities such as wage inequality. So then the word “culture” does not even fit. It is not a term that they can use to effectively communicate how their office is operating. Recruiting teams, hiring managers, and people use the word “culture” for work, instead of asking the real questions they have, which would include asking about corporate benefits, attitudes, and atmospheres around the office, transparency within the organization, or the levels of collaboration that are present. 

So when we want to talk about culture honestly at work, HR leaders need to determine if their work environment truly has a “culture” and, if so, what that is. “Culture” should be an important term that can accurately convey how the office regularly operates across locations and within various teams within the organization. In order to define a company’s culture, leadership within a corporation has to understand how work gets done, what the motivation behind the work truly is, in what ways the company is experiencing success in the marketplace, the challenges facing the company, and how the company compares to its competitors. There is a need to grasp how an office is operating and not just throw around a general use of the word “culture.” When companies consider hiring for culture at their office, it may be necessary to do an audit to determine who the company is, how it operates, how new employees are hired, and the reasons why the company is hiring.

It is important to take a deep look at the culture within an organization. 

Leaders may understand how work happens but not the true motivation on a daily basis. And it is important to grasp that motivation to know how an office is operating so that it can be successful in its recruitment and retention of employees.

Does your company need to take a closer look at how it defines “culture?” If so, be sure to listen to this episode of Let’s Fix Work with my husband, Ken, as we chat about culture and the various ways it can be viewed. Don’t let your definition of “culture” keep you from having a deep understanding of your company and moving it forward!

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