“People are everything. Without people, you don’t have a business.”
In a perfect world every CEO would give HR the time of day to ensure there is an alignment between what they want to achieve and the vision of their business. This key person would be assigned to examine day-to-day actions, clearly articulate values held within the organisation and connect unique behaviours to these values. This gives people context around how they should perform and make decisions.
So, what is organisational culture and why do we need to even articulate what it is?
For Elizabeth Houghton her greatest satisfaction comes from inspiring people to think differently and to capitalise on the evolving world of work. As a Human Resources (HR) professional she enjoys a role which offers variety rather than specialising and is currently the People and Capability Business Partner at Dashing, a leader in the execution of retail campaigns offering design technology and production services.
With a list of experiences which range from FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), Manufacturing, Professional Services, Information Technology, Engineering, Motor Sport and financial services, it is evident Elizabeth knows a thing or two around how to build organisational culture. She uses her leadership space to support leaders through coaching, leadership development, recruitment and selection, succession planning and people management.
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Elizabeth began her career in a role which very much focused on recruitment and soon realised that her passion did not lie with constantly interviewing people day-in/day-out. Firing people was definitely an element of the role she did not enjoy and neither was working with Trade Unions – although she learnt some valuable lessons and effective strategies to navigate those uncomfortable situations. You will need to listen to this podcast to gain the benefit of her experience.
You will now find Elizabeth putting in place systems to support leaders and their teams. Organisational culture begins with the founder of the business – they set the tone with their values and beliefs. No two businesses are the same and the culture is not static. Values evolve over time as every new person who joins the business brings with them their value set and experience. This supports the significant role that recruitment plays in the organisation’s journey as the shared values and behaviours form the micro environment that is built within an establishment and requires constant support.
So, where does this leave us during the current pandemic?
There is not a single person in the world who has not been impacted by COVID-19 in some way. For Elizabeth this has meant navigating the rapid downsizing of both the business she loves, as well as her own personal financial situation. It requires constant understanding of her team and what they, as individuals, need as well as supporting leaders who have been forced into using a leadership style which does not come naturally to them. For Elizabeth it certainly has been an interesting challenge.
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If you are left with questions after reading this post, then click here to join the conversation as Elizabeth has freely shared many insightful answers. Let’s get right into it and start with the why:-
“Can you articulate what your top three values are?”