It’s hard to look through your LinkedIn feed these days without coming across the tales of challenging work environments. Issues with leadership style, poor inclusion practices, sexism, ageism, downsizing – you get the idea.
But what does it take to build an incredible work culture? How do some companies seem to beat the odds and just get it right?
There are many moving parts inherent in any organization – competitive pressures, changes in business model, client demands, financial constraints, resource gaps, capacity issues, board and investor dynamics. The system comes with many complexities, and that’s before you even begin to factor in the most important element – people.
At the core of any organization, are the people that show up every day and collaborate, create and ultimately, do the work together. Over the years, working in a range of consulting, provider and business partner roles, I have had the good fortune to see the ‘insides’ of many of Canada’s largest organizations – meet their leaders, learn about their HR policies and practices, and ultimately see what is at the heart of their successes or shortcomings when it comes to corporate culture.
What this experience has shown me is that there is one thing that truly matters. One thing that is at the heart of any genuinely engaged, loyal workforce. It’s not compensation, it’s not vacation, it’s not even health benefits or perks programming. It’s simply…..showing you care. Companies that truly care about their people typically do the right things when it comes to employee well-being, talent management, performance management and creating the right policies and practices operationally. They ensure that employees have access to the resources and tools they need to work well – and they typically perform better.
The right organizational support also plays a vital role in employee well-being and satisfaction. In fact, according to the Limeade Institute, 99 percent of employees with high well-being and organizational support say their employer is a ‘great place to work.’
Great Place to Work, the global authority on building, sustaining, and recognizing high-trust, high-performing workplace cultures – has been evaluating what makes a strong corporate culture for decades. It all comes down to trust. Showing care and consideration for the people in an organization fosters a culture of trust. Trust that you are making the right decisions to motivate, support, challenge and reward people appropriately.
The principle of ‘is this the right decision for our people’ permeates leadership discussions, and drives good cultural decision making. It transcends age, demographics and skill.
Getting it right is a balancing act. But one that deserves attention to build the best business.