It's a common question among the leadership of maturing companies. Typically, the answer thrashes across extremes:
- The CEO
- The most people-oriented executive on the team
- The entire executive team is responsible for talent or human resources
All of these answers are wrong.
EVERYONE that works at your company is responsible for culture. Every person contributes, either positively or negatively, to the environment in which they work every day.
Some people take that responsibility seriously – they bring positivity, openness and curiosity to the workplace. They treat the common areas with care. They collaborate and socialize not only within their department but across the organization. We all know these people; we love working with them.
There are those of course who do not contribute positively to the larger harmony. They deflate those around them and lower positive energy. They dominate group discussions, fail to listen (much less empathize), and approach colleagues with demands and accusations. We all know these people and know them to be toxic.
The fostering of the good and elimination of the bad is not something that happens by accident. While a young team is still forming, passionate effort is required to set the foundation for a sustainable culture. Values should be determined by collective will, codified, and reinforced repeatedly. Major decisions should be viewed through this lens, "is what we're about to do consistent with the culture we wish to foster?" Asked with sufficient frequency, the values take root and soon becomes self-sustaining. When the culture is healthy and those with authority lead by example, toxins don't take long to eliminate. The result is a team that hums.
At Taulia, we recently learned that for the second consecutive year we have been named one of the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area. This is a beautiful honor that all 115 Taulians around the globe share.
Because culture is everyone's responsibility.