Is company culture born or raised?
After working for 10+ years in the same company, I often find myself wondering the same: is company culture born or raised? And can it stay the same or – just like everything else – does it have to change periodically?
Work culture is a hot topic nowadays. And not just because it ties into everything an organisation does, but also because it seems to find unlimited answers to the recurrent, but crucial question: how can we be happier and more efficient at work?
I am a big fan of podcasts and get my daily “vitamins” from them. Out of the ones on work culture, EAT SLEEP WORK REPEAT gives pretty good insights on company culture and the trends around working better, more efficiently, and especially on how to find work fulfilling. Their episode on work culture from May 13th called “Does Work Culture Even Exist?” raised some pretty interesting ideas. For example, how the concept of work culture appeared in 80s and 90s with the Japanese businesses, that were rapidly growing and being idolised for having a good culture, and which Americans wanted to replicate fast in order to get the same results.
The episode also talks about how team culture is probably more important than company culture, and how researchers from Stanford University could actually not observe a single culture in organisations they studied. Eventually, according to Stanford, company culture is a nice story that we are telling ourselves, but which is illusional. The big finding of one of the massive pieces of work that Google did on work culture (Project Aristotle) was that the secret of good teams was psychological safety – people feeling comfortable in speaking up without fear of punishment.
Culture is a great subject on its own, but when you add globalisation to the mix, it becomes greater. How does a country’s culture impact the work culture of a company? I am learning every day how different nationalities have a different approach to work, work safety, work culture and everything in between, so it seems more and more difficult to define a company’s culture in a simple way and ask everyone to adhere to it, especially nowadays when a lot of companies are becoming global and work is becoming even more remote.
I struggle with this every day. The values that are important to me have changed over time, and so did I. However, feeling safe, being creative, remaining passionate about my work and being appreciated is something that has stayed the same over time. Can a company find that sweet spot between offering the safety and stability of long-term values and engaging and constantly adapting to market changes and evolution? If we are innovative, can we remain united? If we love challenges, can we stay safe? And if we want to grow, can we all do it together? Or will we lose some of our staff in the process of keeping our culture? Is culture about making employees happier or just companies?
I would love to know what are your experiences with company culture and how you’ve experienced it in your own workplace. If you have anything to share, please do so, and let’s talk!
Andreea Baloi is a Contributor on Outsourcing Advisors
Andreea is a bold and brutally honest IT professional, with over 10 years’ experience in Management and more than 5 running Business Operations. Her background lies in customer support, where she strives to achieve excellency in offering assistance, while inspiring and helping her team to build the skills and strategies needed to develop and grow their IT careers.
Andreea is really passionate about women empowerment, leadership and personal growth, and she’s constantly using her online presence to raise awareness about these topics. She enjoys reading and uses writing as a form of meditation and expressing creativity. When she’s not working, Andreea spends time with her friends and family, usually trying to get her 10-year old nephew to still enjoy her company. You might also find her travelling to new places, doing yoga, watching NETFLIX or occasionally going out dancing.