Raise your hand if you have read or heard about how important corporate culture is to a winning organization? Obviously, I can’t see the hands that are raised but I bet it is approximately 100% of you. Companies spend millions and millions of dollars annually to have outside “culture coaches” help them work on their culture. They do some team building exercises, hold anonymous interviews with employees, and give the organization a pretty report at the end of the week before running to the bank to cash their large check.
Here’s the twist…these coaches can’t work on the culture because it’s not a thing. It’s not a car that you can trouble shoot. It’s not a programming code that has the semi-colon in the wrong place. The culture of any organization is controlled by each individual person.
There is a great poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox titled “Which Are You?” that is simple, but it requires some serious “mirror time” to self-reflect and answer honestly.
This is the poem:
“There are two kinds of people on earth today;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.
Not the sinner and saint, for it’s well understood
That the good are half-bad and the bad half-good.
Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man’s wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.
Not the humble and the proud, for in life’s little span,
Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man.
Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.
No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.
Wherever you go, you will find the earth’s masses,
Are always divided in just these two classes.
And oddly enough, you will find too, I ween,
There’s only one lifter to twenty who lean.
In which class are you? Are you easing the load,
Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?
Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
Your portion of labor, and worry and care?”
There is no such thing as a culture neutral employee. When times are tough, when it’s inconvenient for you, when it’s out of your comfort zone, can others count on you to lift the culture? When it comes to company culture everything you do speaks and everyone matters. Are you a lifter of the culture or are you a leaner on the culture?
Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.
About Dale: As our Executive Director of Human Resources, Dale is the powerhouse behind helping our team grow. He graduated from USC-Upstate (but considers himself a Dayton Flyer). He has over twelve years of HR experience in a variety of industries, focused primarily on talent acquisition and organizational development. Dale is passionate about challenging himself, and when he’s not in the office, he’s training for his next big race. Each year he picks a different race to compete in. In the past it has been mostly running events, but this year is all about biking, he just completed a 75 mile relay from Asheville, SC to Greenville, SC. Questions? Send Dale an email!