Are you in touch with reality?

How is your workplace culture? No really…the ground truth, not the company line.

As pharmacy continues to reach for heights it never has before, fostering an environment that inspires performance is paramount. Yet, how often do we truly delve into the essence of workplace culture—the driving force behind team dynamics and pharmacy success?

What is workplace culture?

To quote Susan Scott, “culture is not some nebulous and mysterious force out there somewhere.” Rather, the culture of any workplace is shaped by its people—the staff who contribute to it through every interaction, conversation, and email exchange. As leaders, it’s imperative that we understand our role in shaping and nurturing this culture.

But what exactly is workplace culture? According to the Oxford Dictionary, it encompasses the shared beliefs and attitudes of a particular group or organisation. Understanding the significance of workplace culture requires us to consider perceptual filters—neurological constructs that influence our beliefs, behaviours, and ultimately, outcomes. In essence, culture drives personal, team, and pharmacy success.

In environments like pharmacies, where patient care and collaboration are paramount, culture directly impacts outcomes. It influences everything from compliance with regulations to the effectiveness of interprofessional relationships. Therefore, fostering a positive workplace culture is not just desirable—it’s essential for the wellbeing of both staff and patients alike.

The Challenge

There is a challenge though. Determining the beliefs and attitudes that define a workplace culture isn’t always straightforward. While management may espouse certain values, the reality—the “ground truth”—often differs. Susan Scott aptly distinguishes between “official truths” and “ground truths,” highlighting the importance of acknowledging what truly happens on the frontline.

Thinking about your pharmacy, where is there misalignment between what the official truth is in your pharmacy versus what actually happens? While we may want to live in fantasy land thinking that the written or espoused culture is the ‘ground truth’, avoiding looking at reality can have profound implications. Just like culture isn’t some nebulous force ‘out there’, its implications aren’t ambiguous either. Misalignment and failure to address the true culture of a workplace can impact workflow, patient safety, compliance, trust, interprofessional collaboration and profit.

The leader’s role in workplace culture.

While individual contributions are vital, leadership sets the tone. It falls upon leaders to ensure that official truths align with ground truths—to bridge the gap between rhetoric and reality. Key values such as trust, effective communication, robust systems, and psychological safety form the foundation of a positive workplace culture.

Practically, it’s the leader who helps guide the team to understand and embody these principles to pave the way for a workplace culture that fosters excellence, collaboration, and ultimately, success.

The Expanding Team Capacity Webinar Series was created to help leaders provide practical tools to their entire teams so they can improve workplace culture by doing things that matter.

Don’t miss this opportunity to provide your team with tools that will make your ability to improve workplace culture easier.

Register today. Doors close 16 April 2024.

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