4 ways any employee can contribute to corporate culture

This article was originally published via the Charlotte Business Journal.

As employers fight to attract and retain top talent, developing a positive corporate culture has become a more intentional act for many organizations.

Actively setting shared beliefs, values and behaviors allow the vision of corporate culture to become concrete, seeping into the way business is conducted, decisions are made and people interact.

Jenni Knighten, director of organizational culture and engagement at OrthoCarolina, may be directly tasked with creating and advancing culture, but she will be the first to share that a company’s core values are about the contributions of every individual on the team.

Director, Organizational Culture & Engagement

Whether you are looking to inspire your own team to get involved with culture or you are ready to jump in at your office, Knighten offers four ways every employee can contribute.

Do your research. 

    New and tenured team members alike can benefit from learning exactly what your company stands for and how they bring belief to fruition.

    “If you’re going to help create an engaged workplace you should have a core understanding of the company’s mission, vision and core values and how they get lived out,” Knighten said.

    Start by visiting your own company’s website and doing a little reading. From there, engage your direct leader in a conversation about company values so you can understand how to act on them, how the company expresses them and how they apply to your role and team.

    Get intentional. 

    Once you understand more about your company’s core values it is important to make choices about how you can act those out in your daily role.

      “When people don’t turn big concepts like ‘teamwork’ into actionable items, the culture never really shifts,” Knighten said. “Decide exactly what you will do to be a better player on your team.

      Simple things like maintaining eye contact when listening or getting to know people who are outside your direct team are great first steps.

      Lift up your team

      Start by accessing what your team currently does to support the values of the company and join their efforts. Or, suggest and organize something new to enhance the team. If your company values building relationships, Knighten says you might create opportunities to learn more about each other by organizing a group outing beyond the walls of the office.

      If learning and growing are key company values bring the team together around a seminar or be a thought leader who shares articles and podcasts. Have a corporate culture of community service? Plan an opportunity for your team to serve in a meaningful way.

      “Whether you’re new or a long-time employee, every individual can be a catalyst for change,” Knighten said.

      Think globally

      Look for ways to be a supporter or advocate of culture by investigating larger platforms within your organization. Many companies organize employee councils, affinity groups and assemblies that focus on specific communities or populations. Reach outside your department by volunteering to be part of a group that means a lot to you and let your voice be heard at a global level.

      Just like many conversations about activism, it is important to remember that, when it comes to corporate culture, every individual effort counts.


      Learn more about OrthoCarolina’s corporate culture and how you can join their team on the mission to make lives better.

      OrthoCarolina. You. Improved. With expert physicians and care providers throughout our region, OrthoCarolina is your destination for comprehensive care. Our expertise and continuum of orthopedic care is unmatched in our region — and throughout the country. Connect with OrthoCarolina’s social media, make an appointment or join our team by visiting orthocarolina.com.

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