A sense of identity

A positive workplace culture is what makes your organisation who you are and unique, and therefore gives everyone within it a sense of identity.

This is important because it gives everyone a feeling of belonging and unity – this can ensure your workforce and people who access care and support are loyal and proud to be part of your organisation.

It also makes people feel part of a team which encourages them to be tolerant and respectful of each other’s views, strengths and differences, and recognise the contributions and skills that everyone brings.

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Exercise

Read the scenario and answer the questions below.

 

Mary's 70 years old and has lived with multiple sclerosis for many years. She employs her own team of personal assistants (PAs) to support her – and five of them have worked with her for over three years. She recently received a national award for ‘best small employer’ and was asked what factors she thought contributed to her winning this award. She said:

“I firmly believe that my PAs stay because my situation offers them something quite different; with all our personalities and my various care requirements we constantly have to change our plans. Everyone invests in what we do, which is not just about working together to meet my care needs but also about everyone in our team fulfilling their own potential and personal goals. I try to support my staff as much as they support me!”

Suzanne, Mary’s longest serving PA, agreed with Mary, adding: 

“She just creates such a wonderful atmosphere, it’s very special. I’d worked in several places before I joined Mary’s team and I’d never felt this sense of loyalty to my employer or my colleagues before. We’re all very proud to work for Mary, and this award is very well deserved!”

Now answer these questions.

  • Why do you think Mary’s PAs like working with her?
  • How do these characteristics help to develop a team spirit?
  • Thinking about your own organisation, what makes your workplace culture unique?
  • How do you think the outside world sees your workplace culture?
  • How would you like the outside world to see your workplace culture?

How to create a sense of identity in your workplace 

A positive workplace culture starts with a vision or mission statement for your organisation, and a set of aims and objectives. They give your organisation, and everyone within it, a shared purpose.

Outline your workplace values and what these look like in practice so everyone knows how to behave. 

Here’s an example of Sense’s visions and values. 

Our values underpin our vision and purpose, as they guide us in all that we do.

  • Honesty in how we behave
  • Aspirational in our approach
  • Accountability for our actions
  • Recognition of peoples contribution and worth
  • Trust in each other

Our values are underpinned by ‘I’ statements:

  • I will listen to others
  • I will understand and respond
  • I will respect others
  • I will be honest and open
  • I will participate and contribute
  • I will take informed risk
  • I will find things to celebrate
  • No decision about me, without me

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