Derek Bishop


People at the heart of culture

Date added: 16th May 2016
Category: Organisational Culture Change

An organisation’s culture is only as strong as its people.

When we talk about company work culture, about the DNA of the organisation and the way in which things are done, it is all too easy to approach it from the wrong side. So we talk first about values and attitudes and behaviours and about how we want to see these evidenced in our organisations, but we sometimes forget that it is our people who will sit at the heart of any transformation.

Putting people first, having an open and ongoing dialogue cannot only lead to stronger employee engagement but can also mean that our people drive the culture. In the process it is our employees who take the lead in creating those strong values and behaviours which will differentiate us from our competitors.

Sadly, that open dialogue still seems to be missing in many organisations. For example, a recent survey into flexible working practices by Monster revealed that 21% of respondents didn’t know if their organisation offered flexible working. Setting aside the fact that virtually all employees with more than 26 weeks service have a legal right to request flexible working, the fact that in 21% of cases flexibility isn’t even discussed indicates that the employer/employee relationship is still very much a top-down affair.

Equally worrying perhaps in the light of the flexible working legislation is the fact that 46% of respondents said their employers do not have a flexible working scheme in place. An organisation’s culture is only as strong as its people. As long as businesses continue to see employees as something to be controlled rather than as partners in delivering success, then having a strong culture which delivers game changing results will always remain beyond their grasp.

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