By Laura Thomson

What does your staff handbook say about taking breakfast in the office? What actually happens at breakfast time in your office? Is yours at office where it is perfectly fine to have your porridge at 9:15ish at your desk, or is it a complete no-no? The answer to this will depend on the company culture at your workplace. And if you are a new manager or team member, it can seem draconian/slack to either stop/start storing your cereal under your desk. .

I’ve worked with some organisations where it’s okay, in fact expected, to have a few glasses of wine at the monthly team lunch. And I’ve worked with other places where that would be instant dismissal. Call me food obsessed, but even what is considered appropriate about what we consume and when in our workplaces, can tell you a lot about that particular company’s culture.

Wiki provides a useful set of definitions for the word ‘culture’ including:

The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterises an institution, organisation or group
More simply put ‘how we do things round here’. And it really depends on the ‘Petri dish’ of elements that make it alright, or not alright to do certain things in your workplace.

How can we cultivate an enviable company culture? As Ann Rhoades so eloquently writes in her book Built On Values, Creating Enviable Cultures, what’s on the organisation’s inside will be reflected on the outside i.e. what your customers will experience. So a good place to start is to think about how you want your customers to feel when connecting with your organisation. And then work backwards. Do you ensure this with your teams?

Rhoades also mentions how you cannot achieve better a customer experience that the culture your employees experience. Fact. So if you want happy customers feeling 10/10 about the brand, then a depressed, demotivated and cynical customer service team feeling 4/10 are going to struggle to convey that.

And defining an ‘enviable company culture’? One that other organisations aspire to model; the hottest talent want to join; and the existing members feel engaged, motivated and proud to be part of. The days go faster; the future, brighter.

Wherever you sit in the organisation, we all have an impact on the company culture around us, so do your bit today to add your positive chemistry into the mix; it’ll reflect back on to you tenfold, making your piece of the planet just that little bit more enviable.

Laura Thomson is a Leadership trainer specialising in sales and business skills development, running small and large training courses as well as 1-1 coaching with individuals. Laura has 10 years training experience gained in large corporate as well as start-up companies. You can read more about company culture on her blog.

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