The turn of the year often marks a time for personal resolutions, but what about resolutions for the workplace? According to Gallup, employee engagement in the U.S. saw its first annual decline in a decade — dropping from 36% of engaged employees in 2020 to 34% in 2021. How might a new culture shift impact this statistic?
Well, take a moment to assess your current organizational culture. How would you describe it in three words? Does it align with your company’s values and objectives?
Key Elements of a Thriving Culture:
Much like a garden nurtured with care, cultivating a culture that thrives requires deliberate attention to essential elements. These elements serve as the bedrock, fostering an environment where teams flourish, innovation sparks, and individuals feel empowered.
Fostering Psychological Safety
Open and transparent communication channels are vital for a thriving workplace culture. However, it’s not just about having these channels; it’s crucial to create an environment where individuals feel psychologically safe to share their thoughts without fear of judgment or reprisal.
For your team members to contribute ideas freely, as a leader, it’s your responsibility to foster trust. Acknowledging what works and what doesn’t helps build that trust. By doing so, you’ll cultivate psychological safety within your team.
Organizations that prioritize psychological safety experience benefits such as increased creativity, enhanced team performance, and higher employee engagement.
Embracing Diversity and Inclusion
Diverse perspectives lead to innovation and better problem-solving, enriching the workplace environment. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, the most diverse companies outperform their less diverse peers by 36% in profitability. That’s because a diverse workforce bring different angles and ideas to the table.
The same research consistently shows that diverse perspectives lead to enhanced innovation, improved problem-solving, and a more enriching workplace environment.
Focusing on Employee Well-being
Supportive work environments that prioritize mental health and work-life balance result in more engaged and motivated teams. Studies by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that for every dollar spent on programs supporting mental health at work, there’s a fourfold return in better health and productivity.
A workplace that genuinely cares about its employees’ well-being sees the benefits firsthand: better performance and success. When people feel supported, they’re more engaged with the company’s goals, leading to stronger teamwork, lower turnover, and a brighter, more positive culture overall.
Steps Towards Change:
After diving into the essentials of a thriving work culture, you might be wondering how to make it all happen. But guess what? It’s more doable than you might imagine!
Assessment and Feedback
Gather insights from employees about the existing culture and areas for improvement. Our climate assessment seeks to understand your culture, not just the measure of engagement of your workforce.
We’ve had many clients whose engagement survey scores were great, but when we dig a bit deeper and ask about inclusivity, how much they trust their leaders, or how well they communicate, the scores point to much room for improvement. That’s why this assessment is so important—it helps you uncover the problems and gain clarity on what to focus on.
Develop Actionable Strategies
Develop specific, measurable steps to implement cultural shifts, keeping in mind long-term sustainability. After the assessment, we review the data to develop a clear and tangible action plan for change and engage in this process with the clients.
Implement the plan
Keep in mind that culture change happens through organizational change and behavior change and your plan will have several action items in both areas.
Often, our organizational change plans include things like:
- Coaching abrasive leaders, helping them understand perceptions of them and why those perceptions exist.
- Revamping the performance management system to hold everyone accountable for embracing your organization’s core values and the evolving company culture, and making sure there’s ongoing feedback in place.
- Developing career mapping, succession planning programs, and professional growth opportunities, so your team members can clearly see their path forward in your organization.
- Creating an employer branding program and/or creating a formal onboarding program that includes orientation to the job and socialization (e.g., buddy system)
- Conflict mediation between individuals or departments
Our behavior change plans (i.e., training programs) often include topics such as:
- Operationalizing core values
- Communicating with civility and respect
- Performance management training
- Diversity, equity and inclusion topics, including minimizing bias or being an upstander
- Work-life balance,self-care and minimizing stress
- Proactively creating a positive work environment
- And more. We customized our topics based on your needs.
As we step into a new year, the chance to revitalize your organizational culture emerges. However, it’s crucial to remember that crafting a positive culture is an ongoing journey, not just a single task.
Now, here’s the big question: How will your organization dive into this transformative journey in the new year? Lucky for you, the answer lies with us! Stay connected, reach out, and our amazing team members will be there to steer you in the right direction!