Home' micenet eMag : micenet December 2015 Contents MARKETING COMMS | FELICITY ZADRO
ow are things done around your
workplace? How do you
manage challenges and
celebrate successes? What do
your bosses’ and colleagues’ behaviour,
language and expectations say about your
work culture? And if you found something you
wanted to change, how would you go about
it? Culture might be allotted to the fluffy side of
business management, but only by those who
don’t understand it. Our workplace culture is
vital to our success or pending doom. Culture
is how we make sense of our workplaces –
what is normal, what is acceptable and how
we should act. If you’ve ever heard of
someone leaving a job because of the
workplace, not the work, they are probably
talking about the culture.
Our workplace cultures are dynamic,
constantly evolving and adapting to
surrounding conditions which affect how we
perceive, think and feel about problems.
These assumptions have been invented,
discovered and developed by the group
through their experiences and are taught to
new members. Ask yourself these questions
to start understanding the culture of your
1 What’s the communication style of your
There is no greater source of influence
on a culture than the leaders’
communication. How often you hear
from them, the words used, body
language, etc, are vital to everyone’s
Felicity Zadro explains why your culture is affecting your bottom line.
understanding of the culture. When a boss flies through an office in a foul mood, the
impact on morale can last days. The CEO and senior managers need to have the same
understanding of the company, for when a new direction is given, everyone will turn to their
manager to try and capture their ‘true reaction’. You can’t fake authenticity.
2 What is the champagne popped for? What does your company celebrate?
Do you celebrate sales wins, birthdays, length of tenure, your client’s wins, the company’s
anniversaries, Fridays, excellence, someone having no sick days? What you celebrate and
conversely what you don’t says a lot about what your culture values. Wanting a client
focused culture? Celebrate your client’s wins and milestones as well as your own.
3 Blue skying together. How are the big strategic decisions made?
Behind a closed door, with open consultation, with the larger management team? How the
team is engaged in strategic decisions determines its success. Does your workplace trust
and value its team’s contribution or hand the changes down?
4 How would you rate the quality of your internal communication?
Do you know what is going on? Are your internal communication channels sporadic? Even
if you have the best channels in place, remember that the CEO’s tone of voice is more
powerful in communicating respect in the workplace than a one page memo to all staff.
5 From an outsider’s perspective, what does your brand say about you?
If your brand was a person would it be old fashioned and stuffy or creative and forward
looking? Your brand is not your logo so have a look at how the phone is answered, how
staff dress, the quality of your collateral and the attitude of your staff to really get a handle
on what your brand is saying about your culture.
6 Words versus Action. Does your company live its values?
There is a big difference between hanging some words on your wall to living the values. For
example, if a bank believes they have a responsibility to support female customers to
achieve their financial goals, they will have women-specific programs and policies.
Checking in on how the values are lived, and not just spoken about is the key to knowing
what your company really believes.
7 What are the stories that are brought out time and time again at social events?
The all-nighters, the drunken antics or the resounding client success? The behaviour
championed is the behaviour encouraged.
Managing organisational culture will determine how the company deals with change and
competition, growth and down turns, how it will maintain staff loyalty and orientate new staff.
And communication is the key to managing it. m
Felicity Zadro is the founder and MD of communications agency Zadro. www.zadroagency.com.au
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