Spidertracks: This Is Us

June 14, 2021

What’s your culture like?

There are many definitions for culture. A workshop I was at recently defined it as “the character and personality of your organisation. It’s what makes your organisation unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviours and attitudes”. The definition I like best though, is the one a team member used in a discussion years ago - “culture is the way we do things”. Simple. And who better to define it than a member who’s within it?

A question I’m often asked during the interview process is “what’s your culture like?”. I have struggled with this question in the past, because how do you describe something that is so intangible? Something that is so embedded in a place, you’re being asked to wrap words around it to identify it? And then am I describing a culture I want it to be, or is it real and for everyone?

During a recent employee survey our culture, on average, was rated as an 8. I wonder what they were rating though, how they selected the ranking they did and why not a 10? And what would we need to do to be rated a 10 by all employees? After all, a culture is made up of people and one guarantee in life is that people are all different. So how do we ensure everyone is catered for, or are we content with satisfying the majority? 

It starts with the search.

Hiring based on alignment of attributes and values is going to serve us far better than on education, experience and skills. Attempting to change someone’s behaviour requires time and effort, teaching skills is far less tiresome. We value diversity of thought within our teams, but diversity of values is not so sought after. We treat our new team members as people gaining membership to a club because they have something in common. You join a tennis club presumably to play tennis with others interested in the same sport. The same is true for why you choose to join Spidertracks.

What affects culture?

Culture can’t be created alone. Culture is made up of everyone and therefore everyone’s responsibility to nurture. You are a thread within the strand by being part of a collective. The way each individual operates affects the overall feel and ultimate success of the ecosystem. We have to take ownership for ourselves and our own relationships. In the same way we prepare for meetings, we should prepare for interactions. Consider your audience, choose appropriate language, be conscious of your method of communicating - particularly body language, facial expressions and intonation. How visible are your energy levels and how might this affect others? Adapt your style to cater for others, to be the most effective you both can be. 

Spidertracks recognises if the individual is cared for, if their environment exudes safety, openness and values-aligned individuals, then we are part-way to having a prosperous culture. If we are all working towards a common shared purpose that resonates with each person, then the culture or “feel” of the organisation will be created from that. First, we start with you, then the ‘us’ is taken care of.

This is us.

If you would like to see our current opportunities, you can view these here.

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