Change is inevitable and no matter how hard we may resist it, it still happens. Evidence of it is everywhere, from when we look in the mirror to the fond reflections we have of days gone by. You’d think that we wouldn’t be so resistant to it, especially knowing it will take place. And for the most part, we aren’t. There is one exception though: the workplace.
At work, the common thought is that no one should stir the pot, so to speak. Everyone can get along and carry on. Nothing to look at. No problems here. The problem is that it is old-world thinking and we are living in a new age. It is up to everyone to play a role in creating a workplace culture that people actually want to work in. It can happen, and when it does, the results are liberating, productive-oriented, and respectful to all people within the organization—everybody benefits.
The Importance of Employee Engagement to the Organizational Culture
Asking for feedback in the workplace culture is not meant as a platitude but as a genuine gauge of where employees are at. When focused, this feedback can impact morale, motivation, and master strategies for workplace success. These add up to employee satisfaction.
According to Gallup, 33 percent of American workers are engaged in their jobs. Fifty-two percent say they’re “just showing up,” and 17 percent describe themselves as “actively disengaged”. Those are not great odds, and they definitely reveal that there is a need to tap into the greater potential of the workplace. That was 2017. Here’s the updated statistic for 2021: 85% of employees are not engaged in the workforce. That’s a lot of people just showing up and likely not finding any value in their work.
A big part of social cohesion has to do with understanding cultural differences and valuing them as fresh perspectives. This starts at the management level and how the person of authority chooses to share the goals and visions of the organization, communicate with their team, and build trust with individuals. Effectively doing so will help employees feel valued and respected. By cultivating an environment of engagement and respect, productivity and commitment are the byproducts.
Diversity and Inclusion is Not Just a Talking Point; It’s an Action
You aren’t going to get too many businesses to say that diversity and inclusion are not important to them. In fact, 76% of organizations say it is a priority. According to PWC, an equity and inclusion consulting firm, “The pursuit of diversity isn’t just about doing the right thing. Inclusive teams lead to different perspectives, creative thinking, and open collaboration. A diverse workforce and deliberate inclusion efforts help drive equitable outcomes that can lead to the broader economic development of our society, which benefits everyone.”
PWC also states, “It’s time to start taking an active role in demonstrating inclusive behavior, creating an environment and culture that works for everyone, so no one gets left behind.” It’s a massive action that requires the entire team to be on board, from the management to the employees, supply chain, stakeholders, and even the community. In a world of lead by example, you have to be strategic, thoughtful and committed to being the example of how others can embrace diversity and inclusion.
Four Ways to Work Toward the New Age of Organizational Culture
It’s not only exciting but also essential for an organization to adapt its policies and procedures to what’s expected at the workplace. Success strategies have been brought to the light. The research firm Quantum Workplace has identified some sure-fire ways that workplaces can “get with the program of the new way to work” and leave archaic and biased policies behind. All workers have a voice to be heard and valuable input to share.
- The leaders of their organization are committed to making it a great place to work.
A great workplace consists of clearly defined strategies for communication, feedback, and adaptation as necessary.
- Trust in the leaders of the organization to set the right course.
When employees feel like their leaders have their back and all employees are engaged in their progress of working toward the same results, everyone tends to work together better. The exceptions to that will sort themselves out quickly and likely leave for their next opportunity to be discontent.
- Belief that the organization will be successful in the future.
The vision an organization has for their future is powerful when it is used as an opportunity to unite the team through the goal.
- Understanding everyone’s role in the organization’s future plans.
As an organization grows, it should also be growing its greatest resources—it’s employees. Letting people know they still have a role on the team as the workplace achieves new growth is beneficial to moral and productive energy.
Through understanding that people are a cherished resource in an organization, its leaders can invest in the ultimate resource—human capital—and offer pathways to success that will benefit the individual and what they can contribute to the entire team’s success. Making these shifts to bring your workplace culture into the new age of the business will give you both a human edge and a competitive edge.
By Natasha Bowman