Why your culture problems don’t need to be a dirty secret

Sam Wilson  |  May 8, 2019

We know how hard it can be to admit that things aren’t right with your business, especially publicly. We’re naturally proud people and the prospect of being judged for our mistakes is never an appetising one. In the world of business, especially at times when the economic climate is challenging at best, it can feel like the vultures are constantly circling – any sign of weakness and they’ll swoop in. The problem is that this can often lead us to mask our problems or revert to temporary fixes that are neither sustainable nor cheap.

This is often the case with culture problems within a business. Admitting there are issues with your working culture can feel like something akin to admitting your partner has been unfaithful or a friend has betrayed you. You worry that people will judge you for your mistakes, that your public image will be permanently damaged and you’ll never recover. Not only is none of this true but also the alternative is significantly worse.

However, if you are still concerned about this – there is an alternative…

It is becoming increasingly apparent that many of the catalysts for poor or toxic working culture can be traced back to a lack of proper inclusion or diversity (I&D) within an organisation. An organisation’s culture is driven by its people and a positive working culture stems from safety, belonging and a shared purpose – all of which are promoted through a properly executed I&D strategy.

Now you’d be forgiven for asking why admitting to a lack of I&D is any different to admitting to culture problems – however, I&D is something that is being positively and publicly embraced by some of the most prominent organisations in the world. Warner Music UK have recently appointed to a new role, Head of Inclusion and Diversity. In the past 12 months, organisations such as Apple, Netflix, Ebay and Google have advertised for similar roles or published public reports on their inclusion and diversity and their ongoing strategies.

These giants understand that publicly demonstrating their commitment to promoting inclusion and diversity within their organisations is, rather than a shameful confession, great PR for their company. They also understand that making their workplaces more diverse and inclusive will help them remain on the forefront of their fields – cultivating and maintaining cultures that are happy and positive, and subsequently more productive, more creative and more profitable.

Embracing an I&D strategy is not only great for your business, it is a way in which you can address any culture problems that might exist within your organisation without publicly admitting that they exist. Your culture issues don’t have to a dirty secret, however if you’re not ready for others to know they exist then a focus on making your workplaces more inclusive and diverse could be the way to solve them behind closed doors.

To find out more about how an I&D strategy can transform your working culture, get in touch today.