TAMSEN GARRIE'S THOUGHTS
Our why for prioritising Culture at CCG
If you have followed our journey, you will have seen that culture has been a huge influencer in our success.
Whilst instilling our culture has not always been easy, it has always been a priority focus for us.
We have always prioritised being clear about who we are and what we are about and why, as well as proactively enabling those who choose to work with us, to align themselves with that, so that they can play their part in our overall vision:
To humanise health and social care, to be the most clinician centric organisation, and a great place to work for all.
The fact that we have a culture that drives our thoughts, actions and interactions is not unique. Every organisation has a culture.
We believe that organisations that choose to create their culture intentionally, rather than allowing it to simply evolve, stand a far greater chance of achieving the outcomes they desire than those that don’t and that applies also to the people who work within them…
The word culture originates from the Latin word ‘cultura’, which means ”to cultivate” or “to grow” and is generally used to define patterns of human behaviour as well as the structures that give that behaviour significance and meaning
The word culture literally translates to “the behaviour of a group” which is driven by the shared beliefs and values that the people in the group hold dear and consider important, (so in other words, what they VALUE) and how that translates to how they behave: so, what they say and do (and what they don’t say and do!).
In the workplace, this is best understood as the distinction between an organisation’s ethos and their culture:
Ethos can be understood as “what we believe around here”. It describes the characteristic spirit and guiding nature of a group: what makes them who they are and how they recognise that within themselves. What they believe and what they value (consider important) as a collective.
Culture can be understood as “how we behave around here” (because we believe and value those things)”, so in other words how what they believe and value translate to what they say and do (and equally, what they don’t say and don’t do). Culture is what actually happens in reality.
This distinction is important, because often a groups values can be mistaken for being its culture, when in fact, values are just words, when they are not supported by behaviours that are aligned with them.
Culture is what’s actually going on: what is observed and heard, and experienced, by the people in the organisation and by the people that are served by and affected by it.
Often, when we hear the word ‘culture’, in the context of the workplace, we automatically think of ‘people’: that culture is something that is focused on the people aspect of the organisation (as opposed to, perhaps, the business aspect).
As such, traditionally, and still in some organisations, culture is perceived to be an HR issue. It can be perceived to be a bit soft or fluffy even. A nice to have, rather than something of strategic importance.
The traditional view is that you have the organisation with its various business functions (marketing, sales, operations and finance) and then you have the culture which sits alongside it, and the two need to be aligned.
Here we see culture as a key element of the organisation itself and not something that is separate to it and with which the business simply needs to be aligned.
At Catalyst Care group, culture is the aspect of the business that is driven by the vision, and it then drives all other aspects: the marketing, the sales, the operations, the finance, and yes, it drives the people aspect too.
As we continue to expand into new areas that need our services, and open new branches for existing services, the need for us to continue to prioritise our culture continues.
And it is also why Culture is not a HR responsibility – it is the responsibility of our Function leaders, our general managers, our registered managers, our team leaders, our specialists, and our wider team, including our clinicians…
At CCG, culture is a shared responsibility… and we all have ownership of it.
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