May 28 2017
By: Terry L. Mathis
Culture is the set of beliefs and values (among other things) that are held in common among its members and tend to shape their behaviors. So, how do things get shared? Through common experiences and interpersonal communication. In today's world, communication has been both enabled and crippled by technology. We text more and talk less. We tend to text with our friends and families more than with our co-workers. In fact, texting has allowed us to bring friends and family with us to work which can actually compete with our workplace communication.
Organizations need to measure and expand the channels of communication between individuals in ways other than meetings. Meetings tend to be more formal, but a lot of informal contact is also needed. Informal communication builds relationships, bonds values and ideals, and creates synergies of thought by injecting alternate points of view. Foyers and break rooms can be redesigned to facilitate conversations. Common areas and organizational events can be structured to give time and place for just chatting. Organizations that realize this need and respond to it creatively reap huge benefits in improved culture.
Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.