There was a time where almost every organization was obsessing over their culture. Culture became this coveted prized possession. 

Companies tried to outdo each other with bold proclamations on websites, bright words splashed across office walls, unlimited PTO, ping pong tables, free lunches, nap pods and onsite masseuses anything to be described as having a great culture. 

Ahhh the mistakes companies made conflating perks with actual company culture. 

Then came the recreation era where companies tried to emulate other companies that had outstanding cultures, only to learn their environments might be considered toxic and culture is more about the people than the actual organization. 

Cough Netflix Cough. 

If you can’t tell already: I have a love/hate relationship with company culture. 

Love: when companies are public about their culture, they’re being straightforward about what they value and how they expect employees to behave.  

Hate: oftentimes I observe a gap between what a company says they value and how employees actually behave. 

It’s complicated, y’all. 

Working in HR you sometimes are led to believe that culture is entirely your responsibility. 


Everyone in an organization impacts the culture. 

This next quarter, I’m going to be diving into the factors that impact company culture and what HR teams can do on their quest to build great cultures. 

The 5 key factors i’m going to focus on:

  1. Values 
  2. Leadership
  3. Communication 
  4. Diversity and Inclusion 
  5. Recognition 

Let’s touch on each briefly so you know what to expect over the next few weeks! 

And, if I’m missing something – you know what to do. Reply to this email. 


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#1: Values 

Nothing makes me roll my eyes harder than some company values. 


Because most values are just words, they don’t actually tell your employees how to behave. 

But somehow values become the foundation of every company’s culture. 

And therein lies some problems! But rest assured, I’ll be tackling that issue head on. 

This quarter i’ll cover:

  • The do’s and don’ts of values
  • Your organization’s unspoken values (yes, you got them!) 

Cliffhanger: Find out what happens when your employees don’t live by those values, 

#2: Leadership

If you really want to see some leaders squirm, ask them to define the company culture. 

I say they’ll squirm because some leaders have a completely different view of the values than the average employee. 

That disconnect causes so many issues!

This quarter i’ll touch on:

  • How to build culture if you have bad leaders
  • Company culture VS team culture 
  • The role of psychological safety in the workplace

Cliffhanger: Find out why your boss can’t, and shouldn’t, be your bestie. 

#3: Communication 

Adding to the ever growing list of responsibilities for HR teams: internal comms. 

Spoiler alert: how a company communicates plays a huge role in company culture! 

I’ll never forget when transparency was the hottest buzz word out there. 

The reality is many companies still struggle with communication. 

This quarter i’ll touch on:

  • Why internal comms matter 
  • How to communicate effectively in the hybrid world 
  • The impact of strong communication on culture 

Cliffhanger: Find out what happens when internal comms get botched. 

#4: Diversity and Inclusion 

Every employee deserves to work somewhere that respects different perspectives and experiences. 

But that isn’t always the case. 

Diversity and inclusion are important aspects of company culture and contribute to innovation and productivity. 

This quarter i’ll touch on:

  • How to determine if your organization cares about DEI
  • How to go beyond words and to actions 

Cliffhanger: Find out how to spot if your company is really committed to inclusion. 

#5: Recognition 

Recognizing the great work being done is crucial to fostering great culture. 

But, most companies really struggle with recognition.

And recognition can be tricky if it’s rooted in bias. 

This quarter i’ll cover:

  • How to build recognition into your culture 
  • How to spot bias in your recognition programs 
  • The connection between recognition and motivation 

Cliffhanger: Find out why employees may hate recognition and what to do about it! 

Wrapping it up:

I am so pumped for this quarter and the focus on company culture.

Am I missing anything? Reply to this email if you want me to cover something specific around company culture and I’ll do my best!

I gave my community, Safe Space, the heads up about this quarter’s focus a few weeks ago. They shared their thoughts and ideas for what needed to be covered!  

At the end of the day, we all want to work somewhere that we enjoy. Somewhere we don’t say “I hate it here.”

It all starts with company culture. 

Let’s crush Q3. I can’t wait to do this with ya.

Hebba Youssef
Hebba Youssef

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