Day One: Defining the Culture

Icon of three fish, two in a fishbowl, one leaping outYou can’t promote a culture – whether virtually, hybrid, or in the office – without a clear definition of what it is – both the stated and the un-stated components.

So Day One of your Corporate Culture challenge is to look at what you already know and consider what you think and feel about your organization.

This prepares you to be ready to communicate and foster the culture you want your remote employees to understand and experience.

(Note: the original challenge was a “live” experience with prizes. The video references those prizes, but of course that was only for the “live” challenge participants.)

What to do

1. Watch the video, or click below to read the transcript.

Download the audio: click here.

2. Download the worksheet: click here. NOTE: The worksheet is a form-fillable PDF, which you can fill out on your computer or print and complete by hand.

3. Complete the worksheet!

Feel free to leave a comment, but be aware that ALL comments are moderated due to spam.

You’ll get an email tomorrow with the link to Day Two!


Comments 19

  1. Ask a question – post an “aha” moment – make a commitment about what you’ll do – say what your culture currently is!

    1. reflective thinking is really important to understand what you are today and how aligned – an now primarily misaligned because of COVID – you are or are not!

      1. Absolutely. Without observation and awareness, it’s basically impossible to know what’s going on, BUT this is a point that is so often missed!

  2. Listening to this and also just hiring several new employees for the first time since we opened . I realized we have always added patients to the schedule whether we are full or not but the new employees are not taught this in training.In training they are taught how to schedule but just seeing a full schedule and that means the day is done you go to the next day. But being new and also new to our organization I totally see were the employee was coming from in just looking at the schedule. I had to explain we go a little deeper then just a schedule we care about our patients like we care for our family.

    1. And Kami – that’s a *great* statement of the culture that you could focus on: “we care about our patients like we care for our family.” LOVELY! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I work for a university where there are definitely different personalities for the different divisions, subdivisions/colleges, and departments. In fact, although the missions, vision, and values is posted – we also have a statement of culture. The mission, vision, and values are very tied to community and academics, but not all departments work in community or academics. Instead we (staff) have to be reminded of the bigger purpose. I am pleased that we have the statement of culture to kind of bridge that gap in some way.

    1. Very cool! I’ve actually never come across a “statement of culture” before – what a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  4. MANA is physician owned. The physicians, while working to see patients, are the owners of the business. I think we could do better explaining this to new employees when they are hired by and report to managers. This is confusing to new employees I think especially when we also have an administration that is separate from the clinics and managers that hire.

    1. You make great points, Paula, for your specific organizational structure but also for *any* new hire in *any* organization. Reporting paths aren’t always clear – but also, every organization does things a little differently from others. Being aware of what can cause confusion (which may be completely obvious when one has been there for a while!) is important. This is part of the unspoken aspect of a company’s culture!

  5. This exercise made me think about the personality of our clinic and our parent company. I believe the patient always comes first and that we provide excellent medical care, but there is much more to consider. Thank you for opening up my eyes. I want our clinic to be the best it can be.

    1. Thanks, Jeanie! I’ll guess that what you’re experiencing is the ways we can all get accustomed to How Things Are without really thinking about them. Stepping back to take a look is an important part of remaining *intentional* about our experience and the experience of those we work with.

  6. I think I’m a little late but wanted to comment anyway. What this exercise made me think about is the phrase “it’s easier said than done.” By that, I mean companies have mission, vision and values, but it takes continuous effort to live by those things. It’s easy to let day to day get in the way and not always walk the talk. I’m trying to be more conscientious about keeping the values (in particular) front and center with everything we do.

    1. YES. I think there’s a misperception that once one has done the work (and it is work!) of crafting a values statement and vision and mission that the work is over.

      But … nooooo! It’s only the beginning!

  7. I perform new employee orientation for MANA among many other job duties. I have an astute respect of first impressions and of the importance in feeling like you are warmly welcomed by an engaging and friendly comrade. My goal is to make every new employee at MANA feel assured of their choice of employment and excited to start anew! I hope to convey that MANA has a culture of compassion and caring not only for our patients, but also for our fellow employees, which is stated in the MANA Mission Statement. I do tell them about how MANA is a physician owned group of medical clinics and the top of MANA’s governing hierarchy is the physician board of directors. I understand that my entry is too late for your competition. I wanted to reply nonetheless.

    1. Sherri, thank you for commenting! It sounds like you’re well-grounded in MANA’s culture and dedicated to communicating it.

      One thing I’d add is to remember that communicating culture is something that needs to be done consistently, not just when you bring on a new employee. I talk about consistency in Day 3, so you’ll come to that tomorrow.

      Don’t forget to comment on Day Two today, so you can be included in the Day Two drawing!

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