Changing Your Culture
Many workers face this unfortunate situation every day: you could love the actual work you do at your job, but if you hate the culture -- your obnoxious coworkers, certain policies, your scary boss, lack of recognition, no "fun" in workplace -- you'll end up hating getting out of bed to go to work. And nobody wants that.
An acquaintance recently told me she left her job. She loved the work she did, but couldn't take the culture. I found it sad the work environment drove her away from a job she really loved.
A great work environment is just as important as the work you are doing when it comes to job satisfaction. If your work culture could use a little boost, Ed Muzio, author of Make Work Great, suggests writing down the following:
- List the positive aspects of your work environment in one column. What is already great? More specifically, which traditions, precedents and cultural elements serve you and your employer well? What existing patterns should be kept?
- List the negative aspects of your work environment in another column. What is not so great? More specifically, what traditions, precedents and cultural elements are detrimental to your work experience and/or to your employer? What existing patterns should be changed?
- Imagine inducting a loved one, who so far has been a complete outsider to your work life, into your company. Envision yourself explaining all of the politics and processes that get the work done. Which of those politics and processes make you proud? Add those to your list of positives. Which of them embarrass you? Add those to your list of negatives.
- Start a new page and call it "Notes on Current Relationships." List about five people at work with whom you have positive, mutually supportive relationships. If possible, choose people with whom you interact on a regular basis.
- One the same page, list about five people who have a lot of control over what you do at work. They may be managers, customers, employees, coworkers or others who are most instrumental in defining your activities. Note anyone who is on both lists.