Everyone Owns The Culture

I was quoted on Twitter – or “retweeted” in the vernacular of the popular social media platform – recently in reference to the launch Facebook’s email service.

In response to a discussion generally about the blurring lines between social and work, I suggested that the lines were about to become increasingly blurry.

Smart organizations are actively looking for ways to strengthen the commitment of their employees – when tim es were flush, they mostly did this with enhanced benefits and bigger 401(k) matches.

For several reasons, “employee engagement” has become the new coin of the realm.

A new generation of workers is entering the workforce, and the connectivity – what old people call the Internet – is their oxygen. They have been connected their entire lives, and foolish is the employer who thinks they’re going to stop this particular wave.

But we’ve also struck an interesting moment where multiple generations of workings are suddenly looking for meaning at work. The Baby Boomers are chasing meaning in some cases because they dropped the ball on their generational aspirations three decades ago. In other cases, unemployment has given them a bit more time to ponder their legacy.

Facebook sees opportunity here – obvious ways to make the connections between work and personal more pronounced and vital. It keeps Facebook relevent, because suddenly 500 million users are using it more openly the eight hours a day their corporation pays them to work. It gives corporations – particularly those with sluggish IT infrastructure – a quick way to connect to their workers, and to build their brand.

Onto my quote, which is a rather simple concept.

“Smart organizations OWN their culture. They don’t subcontract it,” I tweeted.

The Floricane team recently started working with one organization interested in regaining ownership of their culture, and is in discussions with two other large organization with eyes on the same prize. The senior leaders at all three places see the need, are open to the opportunity and are not blind to the challenges – in each instance, we start our work by listening to the employees and helping them identify their own opportunities to be more connected.

And while smart companies don’t subcontract their culture, they do know when to bring outside perspectives into the conversation. Our work – simply put – is to make organizational culture something everyone has a role in creating, and owning.