Hidden Influence: Utilising Working Preferences to Shape Organisational Culture

Flexibility has become possibly the biggest workplace theme to emerge post-pandemic with people looking for greater balance in working hours, days and location but many organisations still overlook flexibility in relation to work styles and preferences.

Identifying and working with peoples individual preferences can be a simple way to unlock your people’s potential and motivation and create an organisational culture that drives productivity.

Preferences & Organisational Culture

If you imagine that each team and business is a jigsaw with each piece representing a different member of your team. Those jigsaw pieces all have different needs but when you meet those needs, they connect better and contribute much easier to the overall picture than if you try to force something that doesn’t fit.

Let’s start by thinking about our personal preferences. You might prefer lots of autonomy or prefer to have more support when you’re learning a new skill. Perhaps you work better if you have time to think about a subject before you attend a meeting on it or maybe you work best when you think on your feet. Maybe you prefer a reflective environment or a busy, noisy one.

Now, think about the people that you work with, do they have similar or different preferences to you? How does this impact how you work together?

Once you understand your preferences and the preferences of those around you then you can start to create an environment that works for more people rather than a ‘one-size fits all’ approach that only fits a handful of people. For example, if you’re a leader who has a team that needs lots of detail before committing to a decision, but you prefer to make a decision and then fill in the detail afterwards then you can use this information to develop a compromise that allows you all to get closer to what you need. This is more likely to generate team buy-in than if you overlook their needs or your own.

Utilising Preferences to Drive Organisational Culture     

The simplest way to understand people’s needs is to ask them. Encourage open, respectful and non-judgemental dialogue so everyone feels comfortable expressing their needs and preferences.

Where you can provide a variety of workspaces and tools to accommodate different working styles from quiet zones for deep focus, collaborative areas for idea sharing sessions, or flexible work hours to accommodate early birds and night owls alike. By creating a supportive environment where everyone can thrive, you’ll foster a stronger sense of belonging and teamwork among team members.

Possibly the most important aspect is to lead by example. Regardless of your role within a business, demonstrating compassion, empathy, and respect for individual differences with create a culture of acceptance.

Book a complimentary, no-obligation session here to understand your own preferences better or explore how you can utilise preferences to unlock the potential in your team.