Steering Organizational Culture: Your Hands are On or Off the Wheel
All employees of an organization have a part in steering an organization’s culture. While principally driven by executive leadership or lack thereof, employees on the front line do have power in the creation of organizational culture. For employees of organizations having a culture crisis, the role you play in creating change can easily be determined by a simple answer to the following question. “Will you be a help or hindrance to the development of a culture that will drive the organization forward?”
A simple Google search will lead you to tons of content on how front-line employees are the problem with creating a winning culture because they aren’t empowered or don’t have the tools or resources to do the job. As a byproduct, I find it important to note that resting on your laurels and accepting the status quo is what keeps organizational cultures in need of change from actually changing. Not being empowered does not mean you never will be. Not having the resources today does not mean you never will. You have responsibility and power as an individual contributor, who is many times the closest to the customer, to be the advocates for change. To do so, you must be willing to continue to lean in, raise your hand, and share feedback on what is needed to delight and deliver for your customers. It is never easy, but no one said driving a winning culture ever was.
In a perfect world, this type of action by employees at all levels is encouraged and, as a result, will occur more frequently. The reality is that sometimes employees must fight against the grain and keep their hands on the wheel when driving through organizational rocky roads. A winning attitude and perseverance can many times produce the exact solution that is needed to catapult an organization forward from a growth or innovation perspective. Not being part of the solution, accepting your company’s inefficiencies or being apathetic does nothing but accelerate the speed with which the culture is getting off track. So keep your hands on the wheel and help to steer your company forward by advocating for your customers, being comfortable with sharing feedback with folks who may not be interested, and presenting solutions for the betterment of the business. If not you are interested in keeping your hands on the wheel, then you might want to consider a job change to allow yourself and others to be part of something greater.
About the Author
Robert Padron is Senior Vice President and General Manager at Arise. Robert is responsible for supporting clients in the Telecommunications and Travel industries. Robert joined Arise in 2010 as Director of Client Results, focusing on the company’s large scale client base and developing operational practices that could be leveraged across Arise’s client base.
Prior to joining Arise in 2010, Robert spent 15 years at Precision Response Corporation as Senior Director of Client Services. Robert holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in business administration and the other in music from the University of Miami. He has a Masters of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University.