A Dorset Institute of Higher Education graduate, who has gone on to lead a global career, has published a book sharing insights on workplace culture.
Helen Rana (nee Grant), who completed a BA (Hons) in Communication and Media Production in 1989, recounts her own experiences working for the Finnish Embassy, Zambian non-governmental organisation ZARD and Sheffield Chamber of Commerce in the book ‘Workplaces: The impact of workplace culture on individuals and organisations’. The title aims to take the reader inside a variety of contrasting organisations to reveal how culture can have as much, if not more, impact as strategy or leadership.
Helen, who is now a freelance writer, researcher and editor working with museums, universities, heritage and cultural organisations, said: “It shows that when you join a new organisation you are expected to dress, speak and act in a certain way to fit in there. This makes certain behaviours prevalent – for better or worse.”
The book’s chapters portray some key aspects of each workplace’s culture – such as tradition, altruism, inexperience, playfulness, individualism and presenteeism – and is intended to provoke reflection about the realities of working life. These realities include the meaning, purpose, status, identity and camaraderie that work can provides, the knowledge and concerns we take into and out of our workplaces, and whether we change to become more like those who already work there.
Helen also ponders people’s motivations for work, the external influences that impact on our ambition and abilities, as well as the geographical factors that define every workplace – such as the times, spaces and people that are part of our daily commutes and routines.