Kristin Maschka

    Workplace Culture Wins Every Time

    Posted September 27th, 2011 by

    Last week reading a few new articles on worklife fit, brought to mind a mantra I have about organizational change.

    In the battle between well-intentioned policies and the unwritten rules of any workplace, unwritten rules win every time.

    From the Sloan Center on Aging and Work came this Fact of the Week, Few Employers Provide Training on Workplace Flexibility. Specifically only 21% of employers train managers, and only 17% train workers.

    In the Wall Street Journal, Penalized for Balancing Work and Family highlighted a new study showing once again that even in companies that offer worklife fit programs and policies, employees don’t feel comfortable using them. Why? The workplace culture – the unwritten rules – discourage it.

    Too often, when organizations push out any big change, they start and end with policies and dictates. Then leaders wonder why people won’t “do what we say” when of course, as every parent knows, they will do what you do not what you say.

    Trying to make change? You have to get culture on your side to win.



    • Trying to implement a change? Sit down and talk to a few people who will be impacted by it and ask what unwritten rules will stand in the way of the change.
    • If you have worklife fit policies and programs on the books but haven’t trained managers and employees how to use them, start now. Shift the culture today by publicly rewarding a manager’s support of worklife fit, or better yet, make an obvious example of taking advantage of them yourself.


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    Posted Under: O: Open Flexible Work


    November 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm by Rachel H

    Job seekers are always going to be interested in a workplaces’ culture. I think very few companies make their culture known to the public, which is a terrible decision. The more transparency a company has the more it will attract candidates who meet the standards. The technology staffing agency I went through often talked about culture but without transparency how can anyone really know if you’ll fit in?


    September 29, 2011 at 10:27 am by Mary Curlew

    I couldn’t agree more! Kristin, you may want to check out a Huffington Post blog I wrote for National Work and Family Month that references international research on just this issue, specifically the unanticipated consequences of work and family policies and culture. The blog is titled, Work and Family, Culture and Policy: What Works (


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