A Culture of Good

csrlightbulbIn her post titled What’s Keeping Your Company Culture Intact and Thriving?, Laura McKnight suggests that organizations should “[make] the most of your employees’ desire to do good.” Comments like that get my inner philosophy nerd all excited because they point to this idea that I’ve mention a time or twelve on this site. Organizations, culture, leadership, engagement, etc–they’re all about helping all parties involved become more appropriately human.

As humans, there are things we naturally want to do. You’ll notice I didn’t say we naturally always do them; but we have aspirations, at least much of the time, of being kind to our fellow man and so on. It would make sense, then, that organizations would live and lead in light of that understanding. If organizations are indeed clumps of humans working and living life together for the bulk of their waking hours, why wouldn’t you want to integrate doing good into your organization’s way of life? Organizations are literally habitats for humans, after all.

CSR_logo2These humans, these folks next to you and me at the office, if given the opportunity, would likely want to help out their fellow man somehow. I mean, we see it inside the organization all the time, don’t we? Or at least when we’re working the way we all want to work we see it, right? We see someone who needs help, so we help them. We see someone struggling, so we come alongside, put our arm around them, and try to assist. This is that desire to do good that Laura was mentioning in her post. So why wouldn’t we, as organizations and leaders, employ proactive strategies to turn that desire inside-out?

For those of you who torture yourself by reading this site from time to time, this idea isn’t anything new. I’ve said the same thing about marketing for a long time. It all comes back to culture. If culture is who you are–your organization’s identity–then it becomes a matter of living it internally and then figuring out compelling ways to help other connect with it externally. That’s why branding and culture are almost two sides of the same coin.

So why not stoke the flames that might be smoldering inside your employees? Why not give them even more opportunity to do what they were wired to do in a sense? As organizations and leaders, let’s proactively provide chances for our folks to do good, both inside and outside the walls of the organization.

5 thoughts on “A Culture of Good

  • We have an organization that embraces serving others through volunteering. People are given and encouraged to be involved with our community. After that happens participants recruit others, and people start talking about the different events, their experience, what they learned, who was there, etc. Not too mention a lot of times people are given the opportunity to leverage talents their job role doesn’t always utilize.

    • Very cool. Same kind of thing here, and really, that’s sort of one of those defining elements of the credit union space as a whole.

  • By developing a culture of caring and compassion, employers also provide a stress undressing tool. When people are soaking in negative thoughts and emotions they are immersed in stress. Stressed employees are costly – to morale, productivity, innovation.

    You have shown how to move beyond the “aspirations of being kind to our fellow-man, and so-on,” by creating a workplace culture that moves people beyond “simply aspiring to do better”, to helping them do better.

    By switching “internally” (by balancing the nervous system), changes can be made “externally” (within the organization).

    Knowing (and feeling) that people within the organization care, leads to a happier, healthier and more productive workforce. When people feel better, they do better.

    • Absolutely. And I think people underestimate stress. They discount it as this thing that people just sort of have to deal with, when in reality it can take a significant toll. Good points.

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