March 24, 2022
More than ever, ambitious employees are seeking much more than a paycheck from their employers. They’re actively looking to spend time working for culturally oriented organizations where openness and opportunity are recognized and celebrated. In exchange, they’re willing to give every ounce of their best work.
As an employer, you can ensure that your working environment supports this shift by concentrating on your organization’s cultural orientation. And even if your workforce has shifted partially or fully to a digital environment, you can still uplift and enhance your company culture.
To be sure, a remote-work situation adds challenges because of the reduced in-person interactions. Nevertheless, even if your team is scattered across the world, you can develop a transparent, vibrant culture that promotes productivity, creativity, innovation, and — perhaps most beneficial of all — engagement.
Why put a focus on engagement? As ADP Research Institute findings show, team members who had a connection with their companies were 75 times more apt to report engagement. And Gallup finds that businesses with engaged employees can expect to experience an 18-43% reduction in turnover.
Engaged employees offer another essential advantage to your company: They start putting portions of themselves into everything they do. Take your marketing and advertising team members, for example. If they come from various walks of life culturally and personally, they inevitably bake their experiences into their output. This yields richer content that may have a greater influence on target audiences because of its relatability.
Setting the Stage for Cultural Orientation
Before you can become more culturally oriented as an employer, you will need to adopt two mindsets. The first involves the philosophical approach of your leadership team.
Simply put, your leaders must be willing to intentionally build out employee connection points. This means carving out the time and space for company-employee interactions that promote exchanges of everything from idea sharing and interpersonal relationship-building to exchanges of self-identity and personal cultural values.
The second mindset is the acceptance that culture and collaboration must be merged to maximize everyone’s experience. Again, leaders will need to nurture this move to bring out everyone’s underutilized skill sets, perspectives, and talents.
Though it can be daunting at first to imagine how you’ll successfully reset and reframe the cultural direction of your organization, you can make the process simpler by following a few strategies:
- Embrace discussions about culture.
Many companies lack a strong, well-defined, robust culture because they’re afraid to talk about intersectionality, cultural differences, and other topics. As a result, they can’t seem to come up with a collaborative and communicative framework to serve as a foundation for a more modern, engaging workplace culture.
Rather than resist or fear conversations around culture, lean into them. You might be surprised at how beneficial it can be for your employees after your new culture begins to emerge. Remember that workers who feel fully and wholly embraced tend to increase their level of work.
- Foster your evolving cultural community.
The whole purpose of building a culturally oriented community at your workplace is to establish trust, provide guidance, and gain insight. These attributes will never occur if you don’t prioritize them.
Your executive team and managers should be prepared to set clear expectations as well as uplift employees regularly. You may need to hold special training sessions to help supervisors learn how to promote healthy dialogue that furthers your business’s cultural goals.
- Allow open, free expressions of creativity.
Your workplace is only as good as the people working there. Maintaining top-tier talent requires that you afford your employees the opportunities to “stretch out and get comfortable.” In other words, give them wide-enough berths to explore their limits.
You’ll know that you’ve hit the jackpot when workers begin to innovate in ways you haven’t seen before. In the end, your organization will turn into a place where high performers want to grow their careers.
Workers can get a salary just about anywhere, especially in today’s job market with its labor shortages and open positions. Your role is to give them what they can’t find elsewhere, which is a culturally orientated, collaborative workplace that values and buoys the uniqueness of each person.