Colourful mission statements adorning mugs across the country are under sudden scrutiny. A recent conversation with one of our employment law clients, People, Culture + Strategies proved that workplace culture – once described to me as a bad case of ‘soft and fluffies’ is coming into its own.
A new level of rigor is being applied to workplace culture, as company directors and senior executives realise that paying lip service to missions and value statements is simply not enough – especially when a company is in hot water about the way it has treated an employee.
It’s not just company directors who are taking a long hard look at their mission statements, it may soon be the Federal Government. A recently announced review into workplace bullying will involve a close look at the role of workplace culture in preventing and responding to cases of bullying in the workplace.
The message to leaders is clear – they are no longer simply custodians of the missions and values of their organisation, but responsible for making sure slogans on coffee cups come to life – in a meaningful way.
Regular communication and feedback has a critical role to play. Businesses need to keep a finger on their collective ‘cultural pulse’ by listening to staff, rolling out regular audits, and responding quickly and effectively to issues as and when they’re raised.
They need to communicate clearly, effectively and frequently with every level of the organisation – you’d be surprised how many CEOs assume their entire organisations are ‘living the dream’, only to discover life in the engine room is an entirely different reality.
Something to bear in mind the next time you take a sip from your corporate coffee cup.
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