Spring is here — well maybe when it stops snowing in South Dakota.
Spring is a refreshing time of year. A time to get outside after being cooped up all winter, soak up the sunshine, go for walks, see the trees and flowers bloom, and start planting crops to produce a bountiful harvest. It’s time to start cultivating and preparing for the new season. Cultivating a culture also applies to leadership. However, the difference is leaders should be cultivating a culture year-round in their business — rather than once a year.
Culture is the backbone of an organization, company, or team. Working in an environment centered on open communication, continuous learning, positive attitudes, and shared commitment is a culture we all strive to find in our professional lives. A colleague of mine recently retired after working 31 years for the same company. What makes a person work for the same company for 31 years? Is it the pay, the benefits, or the location? One or more of these items may influence a person to a certain extent, but I would hinder to guess this dedicated individual could have secured a job with similar pay, just as good or better benefits and maybe even a location more suitable for their family. Thus, why does an individual work with the same employer from their college graduation to their retirement — because of the culture.
Culture is found where work doesn’t seem like work, where your passion for the work grows each and every day, where you have a support system when you or your family experience difficult or emotional times, where the mission and values of the organization or business are aligned with your values, and where you are recognized for your contribution. In a society where the number of people disengaged from their work, outnumbers those engaged in what they do, culture is an environment leaders’ build, create, develop, and sustain for their employees. Creating a work-environment culture more focused on how people feel and how they make others around them feel becomes a culture that results in long-term commitment, contentment, and integrity. What culture are you going to start cultivating this spring?
Until next time . . .
(photo by B. Lynn Gordon)