Shape Your Workplace Culture – Before it Shapes You

Raffa Financial ServicesRaffa Financial Services on 01/14/2019

Even the most thoughtful, clearly imagined, and well-planned business strategy won’t come to fruition if your employees don’t like working in your organization.

At best, you’ll end up with a mediocre version of the ideas you envisioned. At worst, you’ll end up with a toxic environment that drives employees, clients, and profits away.

Culture happens

Whether you’re paying attention or not.

If you ignore the culture of your organization, it will develop organically and randomly. But if you’re paying close attention, you can be very intentional about building and shaping the kind of company culture you want to live, breathe, and work in.

When you carefully manage and protect your workplace environment, you will attract people who fit into your culture and who are excited to contribute to your mission. But if you simply let whatever happens happen, you will allow the various people and personalities in your company to determine what your culture looks, feels, and sounds like. And the results could be very different from what you wanted.

It’s more than a mission statement

It also goes well beyond onsite espresso machines, bean bag chairs, and Bring Your Dog to Work Day.

Yes, these things can all be manifestations of your culture, and good ones at that. But true culture is about knowing your values and making sure everyone else knows them too. It’s about the care and development you pour into your people. It’s about making sure everyone feels worthwhile and sees themselves as a valuable part of the team. And, it’s about showing your employees the roles they play in making your vision a reality.

It’s about living, breathing, and demonstrating your core beliefs every single day.

Are you actively tending your culture?

Or are you leaving it unattended? Here’s how you can tell the difference:

Organizations that are intentional about shaping the right culture:

  • Hire for personality and cultural fit, recognizing that skills can be taught
  • Communicate clearly and often
  • Request feedback, ideas, and participation from all team members
  • Integrate regular performance coaching and personal development opportunities
  • Have defined company values that are woven into the fabric of the organization
  • Share the vision of the organization and work collaboratively to make it a reality
  • Foster trust in leadership and commitment to something bigger

Organizations that don’t pay attention to culture:

  • Hire for skill and not for personality fit
  • Have little (or poorly executed) communication
  • Don’t have defined or well-communicated company vision and values
  • Lack performance management, mentoring, and personal/career development
  • Breed employees who don’t trust their leaders and don’t feel connected to their work

Regardless of how your culture has developed, chances are it is fairly strong and engrained. And that it’s taken on a life of its own.

Make sure it’s what you want

Once a culture has been formed, it can be hard to change. If you’ve set yourself up for a culture that aligns with your company goals, mission, values, and vision, this will work in your favor.

If you’re trying to move your organization in a new direction, cultural resistance can be tough to overcome. But great challenges offer great rewards.

Don’t let a happenstance culture bring your business down. Commit to building the kind of culture that makes your team excited to be part of your vision and turns your organizational dreams into a reality.


Running into challenges with employee engagement, turnover, and retention? At Raffa Financial, we’ve got ideas to help you address these issues and more. Get in touch with Raffa to find out what working with a true employee benefits consultant feels like.

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Photo by Nadezhda Prokudina

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