picture of citrus fruits, kiwi and banana

What is culture?

By: Jessica and Gemma 11 Jan, 2017

What is culture? Too often it’s the subject of corporate bragging, incessant white noise about how these businesses are appearing to tick all the right boxes. Token vocal LGBTQIA employee, tick. A woman in a leadership position, tick. It becomes a story.

“Look at us! Look at how progressive we are! Our culture is so diverse!” peddles the PR department.

Do they realise that they’re advertising the fact they’re missing the point? The best places to work see employees as people, entities within a team, not just assets which need to look different. It’s welcoming to show up to an accepting environment at work every day – it gives people the opportunity to prosper.

This aligned mind-set attracts people who share favourable values, which leads to an organically diversified group, which reinforces culture. Quotas are not needed. Culture need not be forced. It happens organically.

Since culture is shared, everyone within the group contributes to it. Some may contribute more than others, when someone leaves or joins your team, your culture changes. And that’s OK – culture is dynamic. That’s why choosing the right people is so important.

Culture can happen naturally if you let it; it’s through relaxed situations where you can make jokes over beers where strong workplace relationships are formed. These relationships are the foundation of a high-performance team. Building this groundwork takes time, but you can always tell if a company has mastered their culture by how happy their employees are. Happiness is both a result and a contributing cause.

When you’re sitting across the interview table judging the pros and cons of your next challenge, make a conscious effort to understand the culture you are going into. The shoe has to fit!