Let’s Fix Work Episode 77
This week, my guest is someone very special to me: my husband, Ken. Today we have a fun conversation about a 1998 trip we took to California and how we could not agree on modern art. Through this, we discovered how people don’t always agree on art and culture; and why we don’t actually need to agree in order to get along.
So how do art and culture relate to work? Well, we also discuss hiring and culture, and how that is manifested at work. How is your company using the word “culture” within the corporate context? This topic of “culture” within the workplace needs so much attention. This episode focuses on gaining clarity on the topic of “culture” and the importance of asking the real questions you need to have answered about a company. So if you’re interested in gaining a clearer perspective on “culture” and how that can happen at your office, be sure to listen to this week’s episode of Let’s Fix Work.
In this episode, you’ll hear:
- Some details about our trip to California and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as well as some of the pieces that stood out to us
- The importance of culture and art with regard to differing opinions and the one piece of modern art in particular that we discussed at length that bugged my husband, Ken, and his struggle to label it is art
- Ken’s view of culture at work – what it’s like to communicate with each other and be a part of the team
- The importance of asking the real, specific, honest questions about work that you want answered and not to erode the meaning of the word “culture”
- Some companies do not have a culture, and if they do, it varies from one location to another
- The need to look at company culture honestly and why companies may need to do audits to understand culture and motivation
IS IT REALLY OKAY TO AGREE TO DISAGREE ON SOME SUBJECTS?
Even if you cannot agree with someone else in a discussion regarding a piece of artwork, culture or most any topic for that matter, it should not diminish your view of that person or your relationship with them. There are probably plenty of other topics upon which you can agree. Just know that you can disagree but still respect each other. Respect is the key to being able to have open, honest conversations with each other.
WHY IS THE TERM “CULTURE” MISUSED AT WORK?
The term “culture” is used too generally. As I get older I realize that words have meaning, and if you slowly start to erode the meaning of the word, you erode a lot of things. You erode conversation, you erode communication. And when recruiting teams, hiring managers and people use the word “culture” for work, instead of asking what they’re really asking for, which is asking about benefits, transactions, attitudes, vibes, and atmospheres, we’re not having an honest conversation or at least not a clear conversation.
WHAT DO HR LEADERS NEED TO LOOK AT WHEN EVALUATING THE TERM “CULTURE” AT WORK?
HR leaders need to determine if they even have a culture at their office. For example, many offices suffer from racism, bias, and inequalities such as wage inequality. And many offices, if they do have a culture, may vary from office to office in multiple locations or potentially vary from team to team. 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. This is a topic that definitely needs attention and more discussion within the HR community.
WHY DO WE NEED TO TAKE A DEEPER, HONEST LOOK AT CULTURE?
It is important to truly look at the definitions of the words used to describe an office, such as an office’s transparency and communication. However, you really need to do an audit of an office to accurately define what goes on and understand who you are as a company and how you hire. You may understand how work happens but not the true motivation on a daily basis. And it is important to grasp how an office is operating as opposed to general terms that are often thrown around too easily.