Culture is a team sport.
Companies can define what they want their culture to be, set up systems to make it so but if you don’t have buy-in and support from employees, it won’t take. At 8THIRTYFOUR our goal is to have a culture of acceptance, honesty, accountability and genuineness (mixed in with a lot of fun). This means every single team member is committed to exemplifying these values and holding themselves accountable.
Here are 4 ways you can support company culture as an employee.
Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. We may not always agree with another team member or even “like” them, but working to understand their perspective or point of view will go a long way. Using phrases such as “I can see how difficult this has been,” “the whole thing sounds so discouraging.” or “I can totally see why you would be upset,” are incredibly powerful. By showing compassion and being willing to listen you’re fostering a culture of trust and openness.
Every day, you’re setting an example for those around you–whether you realize it or not, positive or negative. Being a leader isn’t just leading others, it’s learning to be humble and give away the credit. Instead of seeking recognition for yourself, recognize and appreciate other team members. Leadership starts with you and ends with the team.
Find educational or networking opportunities that will sharpen your skill set. Culture thrives when employees prioritize learning and professional development. Seeking ways to expand your knowledge base fosters a productive, trusting and open company culture.
If you are having an issue with a member of the team, have a “clear the air” conversation. By addressing issues as they arise, they won’t fester and grow to the point they hurt team morale and damage culture. These conversations can seem “cringy” and extremely awkward but you’ll feel so much better after addressing it, you are then able to move forward.
A company can set the culture but it is up to each individual to do their part in maintaining it.