The best companies are full of unique people. This is their life blood, and the diversity of owners, managers and staff contributes to form the workplace culture.

So how can you define workplace culture and, more importantly, how does it all work together?

A common definition is “workplace culture is the shared values, belief systems and the set of expectations that people in a workplace share”.

What I like about this definition is that the responsibility for a company’s culture is shared between the individuals and the company. I was listening to a webinar in February hosted by Govn365 and the speaker Michael Henderson made a statement that resonated with me. It was “culture belongs to the people”.  What this means to me is that a company’s culture is not a piece of paper hanging on the wall; it’s not mandated or forced but rather is owned by each person and collaboratively worked out and practiced in everyday work life.

So, for the individuals that make up the team, some examples of what shared values and belief systems may look like are:

  • Supporting one another helps the team succeed
  • Encouragement and honesty are equally important
  • Everyone deserves to be treated fairly
  • No individual is more important than the team

From a company’s point of view, some expectations of and commitments to the team may be:

  • The leaders value people as their most important resource and support them fully
  • Leaders are committed to inclusivity and making the company a great place to work
  • Everyone in the company plays an important role in its success
  • Training and development are pillars of our success
  • Everyone knows clearly what the company stands for and its goals

This is when the magic happens! 

When the individual responsibilities are owned by the people and the expectations are committed to and backed up by the company, that is when you know you have the recipe for a great workplace culture. That is when the diversity of all the individuals becomes a great strength. People flourish by uniting with common values that allow their individual strengths to shine. This in turn brings great benefit to the company and makes it a compelling place to be for staff and customers.