Despite the improving economy, there are still red flags. Besides the massive tech company layoffs, people are still voluntarily quitting their jobs at an astounding rate (4 million quits in the US in February 2023) nearly 70% of Gen-Z and Millennials plan to quit their jobs in 2023.
Senior leaders are increasingly aware that their lousy work culture could drive talented players out of their organization. Over the past five years, senior leaders have shared these five culture concerns with us:
Organizational values: Senior leaders realize that posting values on the conference room walls doesn’t lead to those values being lived. Leaders must define company values in observable, tangible and measurable terms. To embed those valued behaviors, leaders must model them, celebrate them and measure them, to ensure that every leader and team member demonstrates those valued behaviors daily.
Respect and validation: Employees of every generation desire and deserve a work culture where they are respected and validated for their aligned ideas, efforts and contributions. Few employees experience that kind of treatment each day. Senior leaders must quash autocratic leadership thinking and practices, replacing them with behaviors that demonstrate respect.
Diversity, equity and inclusion: Many senior leaders want a work culture that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. It’s not as simple as hiring talented people of color. Leaders must revise systems and policies to ensure equity in hiring, mentoring, compensation, gender, opportunity, promotion, leadership, etc. and then measure and monitor progress to ensure traction.
Wellbeing: Senior leaders realize that employee wellbeing isn’t fluff — it’s vital. Society and workplaces have grown increasingly divisive. Divisiveness inhibits employee sanity, balance, happiness and creativity. Leaders must test practices that enable employees to be their best, balancing productivity with healthy habits and validating relationships.
Service to others: Ask employees what the purpose of your company is. It is very likely that the most frequent answer you’ll hear is “to make money.” Senior leaders understand that “making money” does not naturally motivate team members. Employees are inspired by opportunities to volunteer their time and talents to improve the quality of life of those in their communities. Supporting charitable events, serving meals to the needy, etc. are tangible ways of serving others.
S. Chris Edmonds is a speaker and author as well as executive consultant, founder and CEO with The Purposeful Culture Group. He has authored or co-authored seven books, including The Culture Engine and, his latest, Good Comes First with Mark Babbitt. Edmonds’ videos, posts and podcasts are available at DrivingResultsThroughCulture. Follow Edmonds on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Apple Podcasts.
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