The following is a Q&A interview conducted during the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition by...
5 Ways to Transform Workplace Culture
If burnout and quiet quitting have become the norm in your workplace, you have work to do. The good news is true transformation can happen when you put your people first.
Understanding America's labor shortage is complicated, but with "over 10 million job openings in the U.S." there's no denying we have one. While the rise of independent workers will fill some talent gaps, companies would be wise to still focus on improving their employee experience.
Employee experience matters in 2022 and it will continue to do so. The demographic draught and changing outlooks on work-life balance look to have organizations competing for talent for years to come. More and more employees will switch employers or move to freelance work rather than put up with toxic workplace cultures.
If burnout and quiet quitting have become the norm in your workplace, you have work to do. The good news is true transformation can happen when you put your people first. Keep reading for five strategies to actively develop your team in meaningful and productive ways.
5 Strategies to Transform Workplace Culture & Improve Employee Experience
1. Plan shared experiences
To transform your workplace culture, set the foundation for genuine relationship-building and honest dialogue. Plan shared experiences where team members come together in interactive ways.
These experiences can — and should — vary in nature to speak to the different workplace personality styles you manage. Also, respect your employees' personal time and schedule these team-building activities during normal work hours. Yes, you're taking away from time to be productive in the short term, but in the long term your transformed workplace culture will be worth it.
- Movie showings
- True Colors Live Show
- Volunteering together
- Weekday rituals
Learning and development programming:
- Self-paced skills training
- Peer-to-peer teaching
- Mentorship from leaders
- True Colors Custom Programs
- Education benefits
2. Foster self-awareness
Positive workplace culture is built with healthy, productive relationships. It requires organizations to create psychologically safe spaces where team members feel empowered, heard, and understood. A company with a positive workplace culture knows its successes flow from the strengths and talents of each unique employee.
This kind of workplace culture, one where true innovation and success unfolds, requires every team member to have a certain level of self-awareness. Your employees will join your team with varying levels of self-awareness. Your job as a leader is to foster growth no matter where they are in their journey.
How? Schedule structured self-awareness activities for your team to participate in throughout the year. Examples include mindfulness programming and taking the True Colors Online Personality Assessment.
You should also encourage your employees to perform self-awareness activities on their own. Examples include goal mapping and requesting feedback from trusted coworkers on their behavior and performance in the workplace.
3. Promote a common language
In addition to self-awareness, you need a common language to create the psychologically safe space required for a transformed workplace culture.
What do we mean by a common language? There needs to be a universal language used throughout the company that empowers employees to discuss their opinions, ideas, and differences while diminishing the fear of punishment and lessening the chance for miscommunication.
Leadership should use the common language themselves and ensure it is used in all relevant communication throughout the organization.
4. Encourage empathy
Empathy enables us to cooperate with other people to reach shared goals. It aids in patience,
considering the different angles of a situation, and compromising with one another. As a leader, you need to encourage empathy through structured empathy-building activities. This can include training on emotional intelligence, social emotional learning, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB).
Similar to self-awareness, you can also encourage your employees to perform empathy-building activities on their own. Charitable gift matching, hours to perform volunteer activities during the workday, and an organizational library with a diverse range of authors and topics are all great places to start.
5. Build a culture of success
Our last strategy to transform workplace culture and improve employee experience is to build a culture that encourages and honors success. This means looking at every team member, no matter their level of experience or time with the company, as an integral part of the team and a potential leader as well.
A culture of success means that while all the strategies discussed in this post are implemented with the end goal of improved employee recruitment, retention, and engagement, everyone in the company knows that team members are people first, producers second.
This kind of workplace culture requires an ongoing and effective DEIB program — not one full of mere check-the-box activities to pacify HR.
Are You Ready to Transform Your Workplace?
The five strategies above are a part of what we call True Leadership Habits. They will help you develop your teams in meaningful ways, transforming your workplace culture for the better and improving employee experience company wide.
Are you ready to truly transform your workplace? Download our tool for self-monitoring your execution of our Five True Leadership Habits.