Can you have workplace culture without a traditional workplace?
Is workplace culture still worth investing in? Are cultural activities still in fashion? In the lead up to Heritage Day this month, we look at how company cultures, diversity and inclusion intersect at the corner of brand sustainability.
You may be wondering if it’s worth the time and effort to invest in your workplace culture, especially if your employees are still working from home or if your organization has made the decision to adopt a permanent WFH or hybrid workplace policy. However, when you break down “culture” into its working parts – diversity to the power of inclusion – it’s clear that now, more than ever, companies need a solid cultural foundation to keep employees feeling connected and part of a greater whole. That, plus the fact that the changing working environment lends itself to a more diverse workforce, as more employees can be hired across cultural, provincial or even international borders. Your company culture needs to be ready for this.
Diversity needs to be supported by inclusion
It’s not enough to have HR policies that attract diversity into the talent pool. A diverse workforce is only as powerful as the inclusivity of the policies, processes and practices that enable it to embrace diverse viewpoints and ideas. It pays to take a broader view on diversity that goes beyond race, gender and culture to encourage a cross-section of diverse ages (generational diversity), academic and professional backgrounds, experiences, talents, skills, opinions, and even personalities. In the end it all adds up to a rich melting pot of ideas and viewpoints to draw on when it comes to finding better solutions and innovations to a diverse range of challenges.
Culture is still a business imperative
Covid-19 aside, culture is still a business imperative, for other reasons too. Your internal culture – what you collectively value, how you do things, your common expectations – defines your organisation and the people that represent you. It doesn’t matter whether your company intentionally defines or shapes its internal culture – it’s already influencing the company’s success, with or without your permission.
Don’t forget that Gen Z and Millennials want (demand), that the companies they work for align with their values, commitments, and aims. Or they walk, to your more culturally sensitive competitor. This fits with a recent survey conducted by Glassdoor, which found that 76% of job seekers said a diverse workforce is important when considering job offers.
The bottom line? Any company disconnecting culture from profit or productivity is putting the company’s future at risk. This idea of cultural profitability is further supported by a recent McKinsey study, which found that racially and ethnically diverse companies outperform industry norms by 35%. So yes, culture is very much still “in fashion”, if you have designs on your brand being around long after Covid-19 has been snuffed out.
Three ways culture activities can add value to company culture
Heritage month has a way of making companies scramble to find new and better ways to celebrate our shared culture. But if your activities are of the ad hoc or lastminute.com varietal, they probably won’t have the desired effect, which is to align employees’ behaviours with company values. Here’s why:
Need help with your company culture?
icandi CQ is a specialist internal communication, B2B marketing and brand agency. As relevant changemakers who unlock creativity for workplaces, we help companies build high performing, purpose-driven cultures, from the inside out. Get in touch for solutions that deliver measurable results – from our custom-built employee app and other internal comms tools to employee surveys and internal communication programmes that enable a more inclusive culture.