The Promises We Make
When we engage in culture PR, put a picture out there to the world that shows the best side of our organisation, we are making a promise. It’s one of many that we make as leaders.
It is, no doubt, well intentioned. Far too often it is misleading. A promise that will be broken.
Broken promises become part of our culture. What we are really saying is that it’s ok to lie to get what we want. The purpose of culture PR is to attract the best talent. “Come work for us and you can experience all of this!”
It is a poor investment of creativity, time and money when this is promise is not backed up with the behaviours that make it a real experience.
We see promises of bean bags and meditation rooms. Pizza parties and “free beer Friday”. Hot desking, coffee on tap and expensive tech. These are things. The attraction of things is brief at best. If the behaviours run contrary to our promises, we’ve got a problem.
The trust we have tried so hard to create is damaged, even obliterated in an instant.
It is a much better investment, and easier in practice, to create an environment that is engaging and interesting for the people that we want. Something that can be trusted, even when things are not going the way we want them to. A place where people can work on interesting problems with other people that crave the same thing. This is the environment that people will stay in to build something great.
We live in a world of shortcuts and hacks. The ultimate hack is to be trustworthy.
Are you a trusted leader?