Don’t Leave your Culture up to Chance
We believe that all organizations have a culture – the difference is whether that culture is by design, or by default. While a positive work culture has long been a driver of employee engagement and retention, gone are the days when leadership could allow a culture to develop naturally or from “the ground up.” The pandemic, followed by the Great Resignation, has made it more important than ever for leaders to deliberately design and embed their organizational culture.
When designing your organizational culture, it’s key that you take a human-centred approach. According to Gartner’s recent Future of Work Report, 82% of employees agree it is important that their organization sees them as a person, not just an employee.
Here are four areas to consider when designing a culture that is truly focused on the experience of the whole person, not just the employee.
Purpose & Meaning
Increasingly, people are seeking to join organizations whose purpose and values they share. One way to address this is by creating a purpose statement as part of your strategic planning process. At MacPhie, we define purpose as why an organization does what it does – its higher calling and the need it fulfills in society. Clearly articulating and sharing your organization’s purpose with current and prospective employees helps individuals determine if they find personal meaning in this purpose and feel invested in fulfilling the societal need identified.
Traditionally, Learning & Development programs have focused on how employees can gain the skills necessary to continue to develop in their current role and progress to the next level in the organization. Moving forward, personalization is the name of the game. This involves expanding our definition of growth beyond a single pathway and allowing individuals to learn where, what, when and how they want. Organizations will also benefit from offering development opportunities that allow individuals to contribute in meaningful ways to their communities.
Flexible Work Experiences
The demand for flexibility in work experience has never been higher. Leaders must challenge their personal biases in pursuit of developing a work model that meets both human and organizational needs. This includes focusing less on the physical location of where work gets done and more on how to create meaningful and purposeful opportunities for collaboration and co-creation. Understanding what individuals value most when it comes to flexibility is important, as is recognizing that different employees have different needs, and these may evolve and change over time.
Empathy in Leadership
It’s important to recognize that leaders aren’t immune to the challenges and fatigue their teams are experiencing. In fact, in many cases these feelings are amplified in leaders by the extreme amount of effort required to lead oneself and one’s team through these challenging times.
As leaders, we’ve been trained to first consider what’s best for the business. Moving forward, we’d encourage you to first think about what’s best for the person you’re interacting with. Start by truly listening and seeking to understand what the person needs. Then do your best to figure out how to meet those needs. Must this be done in a way that doesn’t damage the success of the organization? Yes, of course. Will this require innovative and customized solutions? Likely. Might it take longer than a one-size-fits-all solution? Probably. But is the pay-off worth it? Absolutely!
By deliberately designing and embedding your organization’s culture, you can improve engagement, attraction and retention of top talent, and overall performance. Who doesn’t want that?
A strong executive team works at continuous improvement.
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