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On creating culture

Thoughts from CEO Creating Culture

On creating culture

5min read

I came across a quote recently which is really influencing the way I think about leadership. It went something like this – “the measure of a team’s culture is the way employees feel on Sunday night, knowing they have to go back to work on Monday morning.”

Simple yet profound, the statement makes me consider how each member of our team feels about their upcoming week and inspires me to create an environment where they are excited and motivated about their work.

A little while back I facilitated an activity with some of our team where they reflected on a time when they felt genuinely motivated and engaged about work and why. Almost without exception, they described the following experience:

  • Feeling valued and cared about by their manager
  • Being part of a great team
  • Feeling trusted and respected
  • Feeling like they were winning
  • Feeling like their work mattered and had impact

Interestingly not one person in that activity described their title, rate of pay, or perks of the role as a reason for feeling motivated.

Of course, this doesn’t mean those things don’t matter – people deserve to be paid and rewarded appropriately. Still, it did highlight for me that a team’s culture and day-to-day working environment are central to a team member’s happiness and wellbeing.

This becomes even more important in a labour market like we are currently experiencing. With great demand for talented team members, employers need to work even harder to keep their people happy and motivated.

For many employers – the competition for talent has prompted an increase in wages or conditions, which in many instances is a good thing. Workers are now experiencing an environment where they can explore other opportunities that will likely be better remunerated.

Importantly though, employers should not lose sight of the importance of workplace culture. Simply paying someone a little more might be appealing in the short term, but if the work environment is poor, it is likely just delaying the inevitable.

Reflecting on all this motivates me to continually question how we can provide a better experience for our team. To listen deeply to their feedback, understand how they are feeling, and bring change when needed.


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Financial disadvantage and associated stress are significant contributors to depression, mental illness, family violence, drug and alcohol abuse, marriage failure, self-harm and suicide, and a myriad of other societal challenges.

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