Cultural Safety: Committing to Organizational Culture

Apr 4, 2023 | Cultural Safety

Author: Marloes Rozing
Cultural Safety featured image
Natural Environment vs Organizational Environment

In the natural environment, species, habitats, and complete ecosystems may be threatened by imbalances due to external factors such as climate change, invasive species, or human interference. Flora and fauna must adapt or fail and can only be protected by actions from the outside such as conservancy measures, stewardship, and other human interventions or the departure of external influence.

In an organizational environment, employees and their performance are threatened by imbalances created through internal factors such as low-trust relationships, work pressure, miscommunication, and overall employee discontent. When employee well-being and performance are affected, organizations are at risk of failure.

But how to respond to data that shows your employees are not happy? And if employees say they are happy, are offered great benefits and rewards, and are paid well, is there really nothing that needs to be done?
Recently, Google, known for its focus on employee culture and work environment, caught attention because of what some have called Culture erosion. Not the layoffs per se, but the process of ‘how’ people were let go, have shown that all work environments can become entangled in Cultural Slippage: a company’s loss of concern for its cultural foundation and values amidst revenue and growth.

At KLPA we believe that Cultural Safety is a key aspect of Executive Leadership and Strategy. It applies both in small organizations or large, when employee satisfaction levels are high, or when they are low.
Leaders can actively protect their employees’ experiences through intentional cultural leadership. This includes responding to business changes such as growth, reorganization, or even crisis, with culture in mind. Creating a space of Cultural Safety.

Leaders that are sensitive to the power of Culture and focus on intentionally leveraging systems and processes, employee benefits, and employee experiences in the workplace can protect their organizational culture and leverage Culture for Results.