Understanding and influencing organisational systems and human behaviour is integral to developing a positive culture and working environment.

It has become increasingly important for all people professionals to have a good understanding of organisation culture and behaviour.  Historically, we may have expected Organisational Development (OD) specialists to hold this knowledge; however, whilst OD specialists certainly have a deep understanding of this in the work they do, all people professionals need a common understanding of the way culture and behaviour impact on people practice, and vice versa.

This area of the new Profession Map encompasses behavioural science, which can provide a rich source of insight for people professionals. It includes knowing:

  • how different leadership and people practices, along with ethical perspectives, impact on behaviour and culture

  • how to enable high levels of people engagement and promote learning

  • how giving people a meaningful voice enables people professionals to influence behaviour, unlock potential and shape organisational culture.

WCHG case study: Home is where the heart is

By making volunteering a strategic priority, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group has created a scheme that’s the beating heart of the community. Read WCHG's story.

Things to start thinking about

Use these prompts to reflect on your understanding of Culture and behaviour and uncover areas for future professional development.

  1. How do leadership and people practices in your area of work impact on behaviour and wider culture?

  2. How do you use insights from behavioural science to inform your work?

  3. When did you last measure and understand organisational culture in your organisation?

  4. How do ethical norms and mindsets influence behaviour and shape culture, and what implications does this have for your work?