THE ENGINE THAT FUELS
By Louise Taylor Green, CHRL, CHRE
I’ll admit it. I’ve been agitated at times when listening to peo-ple
talk about workplace culture. I get a bit wound up when I
hear things like, “We have such an amazing culture,” followed
by, “because I get to take Friday afternoons off in the summer.”
Or, “Our culture sucks. My supervisor denied my vacation request
because we’re two people short,” or, “I’m sick of this toxic culture.
Something needs to be done around here.”
This word “culture” has become so central to our language and
conversation around work, but it is often really misunderstood
because culture isn’t one thing; it’s a proxy for a multitude of fac-tors.
As a former CHRO and now a CEO, I kinda take culture
seriously (okay, insight to my soul, I take it really seriously and
have been a bit of a culture-nerd for decades), learning through
study and lived-experience what it really takes to successfully lead
I’ve heard many CEO’s say, “We need a (pick any one of the
following: learning, agile, high-performance, customer-centric,
accountability, lean, adaptive, safety, values-based, excellence,
performance-driven, resilient) culture.” The problem is, sometimes
the desired culture is declared without really understanding what
changing the culture should help the company achieve. HR jumps
into execution without first laying out the roadmap; a sure recipe
for unsustainable change.
WORKPLACE CULTURE IS A
SYSTEM OF VALUES, BELIEFS,
BEHAVIOURS AND CEREMONIES
THAT SHAPE HOW REAL WORK
GETS DONE IN AN ORGANIZATION.
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 ❚ 11