Keep it real
– Don’t make it up
Be congruent. Be authentic. Be your true self. – Mahatma Gandhi
In a Nutshell
What does it mean when a company needs to be true to itself? Similar to individuals, companies also have personalities. This “personality” is known as the company culture. Company culture has been one of the most scrutinized aspects of corporate affairs in the recent past. Like an individual’s personality, a company’s culture is a living, evolving representation of the company.
Work cultures are complex because they are actually made up of many different individual personalities interpreting a set of values or principles that the company wants to represent. The best company cultures are also the ones where employees feel like they can bring their best selves to work. In other words, a work environment where they feel committed, engaged and know they will be rewarded with progress and acknowledgement.
Yet, just like peer pressure, companies feel a need to implement practices they observe in successful companies blindly, without understanding whether this may represent them accurately. The devil is in the details and so is workplace authenticity. It makes no sense to either remove unique aspects of your culture or to superficially borrow ideas from other work cultures just so that you fit into a certain mould.
It’s equally important to remember that work cultures are not made up by the perks or practices but rather through your employees bringing their best selves to work every single day. Building your company solely on someone else’s idea is definitely not the way. It’s wiser to divine what works for your company and your people and to stick to it – irrespective of how the outside world perceives it