Culture: connecting home and the workplace

Whilst we tucking into our Sunday roast, the discussion strayed into getting the eldest to keep her room tidy, something which she describes as nagging.  ‘We are good children’ she remarked, ‘some of the people at school are just not nice, you could have had them as your kids’. My husband and I simultaneously responded with ‘they wouldn’t be our children’.

The conversation went on about how the values, beliefs and attitudes that we hold as parents have shaped who they have become and how they act. This included the boundaries that were set and maintained. These were sometimes stretched, negotiated and when broken, consequences were faced. As parents we are responsible for role modelling and influencing our children’s behaviour, actions and worldview.

As I am talking, I am making connections with the workplace and replacing parent with leader or business owner. The words of Edgar Schein immediately springs to mind, ‘an organisation’s culture begins life in the head of its founder…’

 Last week I was working with a business which was undergoing rapid growth and as a result taking on more staff with a forecast to continue over the coming years. From its inception, the owner and his business partner has set a culture which has been embedded, from how they dress, behave, how staff are treated and interacted with, how information is communicated and shared, how decisions are made, how the organisation is structured, the layout of the work spaces…..

His concerns were around how the culture will be maintained if there is a constant influx of new people and will this ‘get diluted’. Some of our conversation included:

– Being clear on the values of the company and how this is aligned with the new strategy. As the company develops its brand and increases its brand position, there are some unwritten and unspoken ways of doing things that will need to be refined and honed

– Articulating and communicating these values, expectations, norms and beliefs to new staff and reinforcing them to existing staff

– The senior management team role modelling expected behaviours and demonstrating the values in their thinking, actions and emotions

– Encouraging everyone to be consistent in how they act and behave and be able to hold each other to account when this does not happen

Changes happen not only within the workplace but also at home. As my children have become increasingly independent and influenced by peers and the external world, our norms, values and beliefs continue to be stretched and tested and on occasions have resulted in a shift in how we think and act.

What is the culture in your household ? And who sets and maintains it? 

How aligned is the culture to the purpose and strategy of your company?

Love to hear your responses and thoughts on connecting home and work

 Join me for Coaches Connect  and Follow me on Twitter @verawoodhead

 Image by Google images


About verawoodhead

I'm an executive coach, leadership facilitator and learning & development consultant working with managers and leaders to develop the skills and behaviours to inspire performance and drive results; achieve promotion ; make successful career changes, be resilient and thrive at work. Within organisations, I help to facilitate better conversations, design learning interventions which deliver practical and lasting solutions aligned to business strategy and goals. Connect with me on Twitter @verawoodhead
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One Response to Culture: connecting home and the workplace

  1. Hi Vera – I’ve been thinking about this and it struck me that family culture is a given and you often only notice it when someone (usually a child) visits and comments on something you take for granted. It can also be challenged when your own kids compare you to others – (what certificate games and films they get to watch, how freely they access the Internet etc). Useful moments to stand back and possibly adjust ‘the way we do things round here’ I guess this applies in a work context too with comments from visitors and new staff …

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