OPINION: Learn workplace culture from army support services

WHEN I was 24 I joined the army. I was the elder statesman during basic training.

This was at a time when the Directional Staff or DS were Vietnam Vets.

Hard men. Mostly cranky.

I remember fondly firing a rifle for the first time. I was assigned to a particularly cranky DS who would take liberty at punching me in the arm if I didn't cock the weapon right or clipping me over the back of the head if I failed to zero in on target.

I remember thinking at the time it didn't feel quite right - I mean, I was the one with the rifle.

I guess when you're on the range, hearing can be a little hard.

There is no doubt my army days influenced me greatly and created friendships and bonds that have lasted to this day.

I wouldn't dissuade anyone from joining the services. Like all workplaces it has its peccadillos. It will continue to go through great cultural change for the better.

The staff of iDcare are mostly volunteers.

I remember thinking that this had its risks. I mean, what type of person would put themselves emotionally in harm's way and deal with someone's crisis every hour of every day without pay?

I know who these people are and they are all class. iDcare averages 8.2 out of 10 for client satisfaction (being at the good end of the scale).

This is because of the attitude, expertise, and culture of supporting each other. The culture that pervades is one of taking work very seriously, but not ourselves.

Culture is everything in a workplace.

It's said to be a key ingredient to have a workplace resilient to fraud and dishonesty.

I'm not saying we'll ever be immune.

No organisation ever is. But if you have a chance to build your organisation's resilience through shaping a positive culture why wouldn't you?

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