Corner Office Culture vs. Water Cooler Culture


It’s not unusual for leaders to think their cultures are healthy and motivating while employees have a completely different view. The perspective on workplace culture becomes rosier the higher up you go in an organization.

This is the difference between Corner Office Culture and Water Cooler Culture. The more senior the leader, the more disconnect there is with the reality of the employees. And this makes sense, senior leaders are not supposed to be as involved in the day-to-day grind; they are meant to be strategic and with an eye on the future. However, a poor workplace culture will seriously hinder any future goals.

It is imperative to the success of any organization that leaders keep a finger on the pulse of their culture, whether this is making a habit of spending time being around employees, having regular meetings with employees and less senior leaders, or having someone closer to the action advise them.

The more informed everyone in the organization is on workplace culture, the better equipped they are to make important decisions on the present and future.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. Have you worked somewhere where there was a disconnect between how senior leaders saw the culture and how employees viewed it?

  2. What type of impact did it have on employee engagement and the organization’s success?

  3. What can you do to help ensure there isn’t a disconnect at your organization (or at a smaller level, within your own team or department)?