Workplace culture starts with collaboration, caring

Workplace culture starts with collaboration, caring

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

Contributors:

Tammy Brazier, Senior Director of Corporate and Business Development, GoodLife Fitness

There’s a lot of talk about demographics in the workplace and how work styles are changing. What employees expect from a job has evolved in recent years to include much more than just a paycheque.

Today’s workforce isn’t content to just show up and do what they’re told — they’re looking to connect with a purpose. They want to do work that inspires them with a team of people who care about each other.

The 2018 Mercer Global Talent Trends study of HR managers and employees (across 21 industries and 44 countries) revealed most employees are looking for three main things in a job: permanent flexibility, a commitment to their health and well-being and the opportunity to work with a purpose.

This is good news for organizational leaders, but it can be challenging to know how to adapt workplace culture to suit these changing expectations. It’s not enough to just talk about organizational purpose, offer flexible work options and say you have an inclusive, diverse workplace. You need to find meaningful ways to make these concepts real.

You’ve defined your organizational purpose. Now what?

While many organizations have gone to great lengths to determine the WHY of what they do, the next step is to translate the company’s WHY into the HOW of your daily work routine. That’s where your purpose and your work culture intersect and where it’s critical to establish an authentic work culture.

Want a culture of engagement? Cultivate leadership at all levels.

To create an engaging, rewarding work culture that reflects who you are as an organization, it’s vital that employees be part of the process. Employees at all levels and with diverse backgrounds should be encouraged to influence business planning and processes. Take a close look at your team and identify employee strengths. Not only does this build engagement, but it helps develop leaders at all levels of your business.

Creating balance and inviting feedback from influencers throughout the company is the surefire way to build engagement and ensure your organizational culture is authentic. You need to be willing to hear some tough truths along the way. What you think is best may not always be what your employees want or deem effective.

Recognize employees for more than their work

It’s no surprise that most employees want their managers to consider them as multi-dimensional humans with personal lives and diverse backgrounds that influence what they do at work. Unfortunately, many employers have considered their staff only in the work context for too long. Customized, employee-driven workplace wellness programs and initiatives can show employees you’re interested in more than just what they accomplish at their desks.

Organizations that offer programs and resources to support mental and physical wellness for their employees generally create a happier, more productive workplace. Flexible work hours, in-office wellness programs, access to corporate gym memberships and employee assistance programs are great examples.

Take care of your team

Launching workplace wellness programs and hoping for employee engagement can’t be done in isolation. Managers need to deliberately encourage and make room for their teams to use and benefit from these supports. For example, if you offer lunch and learn wellness sessions, don’t schedule a mandatory lunchtime meeting that will prevent interested employees from attending.

In some cases, team members have trouble balancing their work with their personal lives. Don’t forget to communicate why you’re making workplace wellness programs available and how they should be used alongside day-to-day work performance. Remember, you don’t always have to solve problems. Sometimes the best way to influence is to just listen and be more curious.

Tammy Brazier is the Senior Director of Corporate and Business Development at GoodLife Fitness. Watch her present live at the GoodLife Fitness Health & Wellness Leadership Summit in Halifax on May 7, 2019. Seating is limited, so visit www.goodlifeatwork.com to register today.

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

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