“It is the behavior of your company and its people that form your reputation, and your reputation is your brand.” – Dave Allen
In my previous blog I talked about the importance of organizational culture with leadership as the role model. But if you think about it, employees also influence organizational culture and must do their part to help improve it. Yes, I know what you’re thinking; “Seriously, have you been to my office? People are miserable. Half of them say ‘that’s not my job’. How am I supposed to change that?”
While it can be very challenging to change a coworker’s work ethic, especially when leadership is lacking, there are some things you can do. Even though it may be extremely frustrating to watch a coworker constantly slack off, it’s best not to let it get to you. Concentrating on your own work and improvements that you can make should be your main focus. I know this is easier said than done, but when it comes time for yearly evaluations/bonuses, they will get their just desserts. It’s hard for a slacker to prove they deserve a bonus if they don’t have anything to show for it.
However, if a coworker claims “it’s not their job”, when it truly is, you should inform them of this, especially if it interferes with your work. A coworker may not actually be aware of how this affects your work, so you may need to explain this to them. Just be careful not to lecture them. Lecturing creates animosity and puts people in a defensive position. Put yourself in the other person’s position and explain to them that the work they do is important and why it’s important. Sometimes just taking the time to really talk to a coworker can really make a difference.
Everyone in the company regardless of their position should be working together to improve things even if it isn’t something they normally work on. Yes, they may have been hired to do a specific job, but every employee contributes to the success of the organization regardless of what their job title states. And unless there is some company policy stating that they cannot help their fellow employee with a job, there is no reason why it cannot be done. Teamwork is vital if employees want to improve their organizational culture.
According to the Tiny pulse 2014 Employee Engagement and Organizational Culture Report, “Peers are the #1 influence, not money, in driving fellow colleagues to go the extra mile”. That being said, employees should encourage and support one another and not fall into the negativity abyss. Yes, I know this is not always easy, but even baby steps can make a difference. Employees should also try collaborating more across divisions. Just getting another person’s perspective on something might lead to a solution to an issue that’s been plaguing your department. Get out of your comfort zone and test the waters. You might actually like what you find. And if not, at least you made an effort, which is better than doing nothing at all and being completely miserable.
“Great companies have leaders all over, not just at the top.” – Rob Goffee