Create a Thriving Subculture

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Even if the rest of your organization has somewhat of a dysfunctional culture, your own department’s subculture can thrive.

Think about the various departments in your organization.

Would you say that all of them have the same culture? Or does each department, shift, or location have its own unique subculture? Most people report that different shifts, different supervisors, and different departments or locations have a different cultural feel to them. Even though organizations will do a survey of their entire organization, employees experience a culture that’s created by their supervisor and manager, and that’s you.

Therefore, you as a leader can be creating a subculture of high performance, or one that’s too easygoing, or too defensive and aggressive.

By focusing on creating a constructive, positive culture, you can create a team that has a great subculture within the larger organization. Share on X

Here are four ways that you as the leader can create the positive subculture in your team or department:

  1. Challenge the team to improve its performance. A team that is achievement driven will tend to feel better about how they’re doing, and that will create a positive feeling in the team.
  2. Remain curious and constructive when dealing with problems. Things are inevitably going to go sideways, and the fact that you can stay respectful, in control, and have a curious mindset will help you be more solution focused.
  3. Provide more positive reinforcement instead of focusing on mistakes. Again, things won’t always work out, but if you overreact and focus on mistakes then you’re creating bad feelings within the team. Remember that the vast majority of the time your team is performing well.
  4. Make sure that you’re approachable and maintain good relationships with your team. Teams that feel comfortable with each other, and with you as the leader, help to create a great culture.

What’s another thing you do to create a positive subculture in your department?