Depending on who you are and where you work, you might have a different notion of what company culture indicates. For some, a company culture for everyone was brought to the limelight by the millennial generation, a group of young people often stereotyped as tech-savvy, perhaps over-confident and even entitled at times. Stepping away from these negatives, lets just picture for a moment, a company culture for everyone. One that is driven my passion, learning and vision.
The desire to be passionate and engaged with work is not something only young people seek. Employers and employees for generations have had the desire to engage with impactful work. However, there has never been a point in time quite like now; employees have made this vision most abundantly clear over the past decade. As more employees are making their passions known, a noticeable change has been occurring within both established companies and startups.
Traces of a culture built for everybody is not only present in the tech industry as some may suspect. Any company seeking to adopt new performance management methodologies and accelerate in their industry would have caught onto the trending ‘culture for everybody’ whirlwind — added to in part by the thought leadership of successful companies.
“[We] want to overhaul corporate culture so that flexibility is a living, breathing, vital aspect of work, a default mode rather than a privilege.”
— Susan Dominus, New York Times
The challenge here is the cliché — it’s easier said than done. For any company that has a vision to develop a culture fit for everyone, there comes a substantial number of employee profiles to incorporate. Attempting to test a huge culture shift can leave various employees questioning whether they still fit well within their workplace.
“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”
— Mary Shelley
The new and unknown can bring individuals great discomfort and transpires on a greater scale in teams. When companies engage in discussions regarding changing the way employees work and management processes, it’s natural to glaze over the challenging vision and focus on bringing on new software dedicated to making this change. From a new task management software to a tool monitoring internal documentation, we’ve all been guilty of entertaining the idea that implementing new technology will change the way teams work and contribute to the company vision.
Sometimes it’s not about deciding which new software to bring on, but whether there is a process in place to bring employees onto the software. The greatest productivity software left unused is to the greatest vision not executed — obsolete.
To counter the challenge of too many tools, so little time to try them: incorporate the people using the technology rather than the focusing solely on the work aspect of developing a work culture for everybody.
Consider the difference in following approaches:
Manager A: “The company has purchased X productivity software, remember to use it everyday!”
Manager B: “The company has developed a new process to help save time in your day-to-day tasks, share any feedback you have after using it!”
Evidently, there is a technology component to both scenarios. That being said, to build a work culture for everybody, the message of change being conveyed should address the people first and foremost.
“Technology should work for people, not the other way around.”
— Brad Becker, Former Chief Design Officer, IBM Watson
Relaying a message that focuses only on the technological aspect of changing work culture for everybody can widen the adoption gap between eager beavers and skeptics. Instead, implementation discussions that places emphasis on working faster, obtaining better results and ease of use can resonates with everyone.
Embracing feedback and allowing for different people to adopt new processes differently is a realistic approach to developing a company culture that works for everyone. Transparency in company decisions, when focused on the end goal of helping everybody, builds trust in the company culture.
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