Gandhi once famously said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, it seems to me that this same advice is very relevant when looking to make a positive change to workplace culture (indeed, it’s a topic I’ve spoken about as a keynote).
Anyone who’s been in the Learning and Development space for more than five minutes will know that culture is basically everything…i.e. if you have a culture of positivity, engagement, support, capability, etc your organisation is likely to succeed. If you have a culture of negativity, blame, incapability, etc, your organisation is almost certainly destined to fail.
So where does Learning and Development fit into all this?
Well, we also know that the vast majority of people need a handful of basic things to be positive and engaged – support, respect, human interaction, a safe workplace, job security, etc (pay is, of course, important but comes way down the list).
We obviously need to provide people with some of these things, the learning resources to maintain/improve capability for example. But how often are employees encouraged to take responsibility for creating the workplace they want? Indeed, how many of them know that they have the power to make significant change, to improve their work experience, to improve the viability of their company (and therefore their job security) if they make a firm personal decision to be committed to displaying the behaviours that they wish to see in their colleagues.
Of course, it’s not always easy to do this, indeed, it’s much simpler to blame others for a negative culture than it is to accept that we play a part in it, but we all play our part in determining workplace culture, meaning we can change it for the better if we’re committed to doing so.
If you can get just a small number of people to embrace this idea you’ll soon see a powerful domino effect!
Thanks, as always, for reading. I hope it was interesting, useful, and worthwhile. Please be sure to like, comment, follow, and share.
About the Author:
Sam Russell is a self-confessed Learning & Development tragic. In his work-life, he’s a an Industry Engagement Manager for the University of Queensland’s Business School, meaning he works with clients to design, develop and implement ‘end-to-end’ blended capability development solutions. He’s also a keynote speaker on topics including (but not limited to) ‘Creating the workplace culture you want to work in’, ‘The future of organisation learning’, ‘Simple strategies for maximising transfer of learning to behaviour’, and ‘Speaking C-Suitese, not L&Dese, to win L&D budget approval’.