A leading industry expert says many employers may be making a mistake when it comes to corporate culture – they’re taking on too much responsibility when they should be sharing the load.
“Leaders often have a flawed view of the world,” says corporate culture specialist Steve Simpson. “In many cases, their perception is that they are solely responsible for the culture but I argue that’s absolutely not the case – my argument is that leaders are primarily but not solely responsible for the culture.”
Simpson, who was recognised as Australian Educator of the Year in 2015, says staff often point upwards when there’s a problem but fail to acknowledge that their own actions play a pivotal role in shaping company culture.
“There is evidence to back this up,” he says. “We can have a good leader with an ordinary culture, why? – Because of the staff. We can have an ordinary leader with a good culture, why? – Because of the staff.”
Melbourne-based Simpson says organisations need to show employees that they can be drivers of workplace culture and empower them to make the changes they want to see.
“We need to emphasise shared responsibility because employees too often take a cop out position,” he says. “It’s not a one-way street.”