Become A Curator Of Culture At Work

Five life lessons you can use


Building workplace culture is a skill area I have been developing and honing long before it became a buzz-worthy topic. Growing up surrounded by my parents’ family business, I observed keenly right from those tender toddler days as my father would get to know his staff. He would make it his mission to get to know them and get to the root of what truly motivated them—both on and off the job. He would find a way to integrate meaningful context into their compensation model, feedback and rewards, and to offer random surprise and delight experiences. I really admired this personalized approach, which leads me to my first tip:

Get personal. Knowing the ins and outs of what makes each employee tick will help you to craft meaningful experiences at an individual level.

Think of it as taking on an account-based marketing approach to your people. Of course, while not impossible, this becomes more difficult to execute at scale. Enter the era of workplace culture building, where we take my dad’s tried and true account-based approach to employee motivation and apply it in broader scope across the organization. We’ve now moved to a model where we work to uncover those same nuggets of motivation, but that we can apply broadly across our teams. Enter tip #2:

Find the common denominators. Apply scale to your culture building practice by working in relevant experiences that build collective morale.

Each business is unique, as are its people. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Workplaces are comprised of different generational, gender and cultural skews. There can be variations to the employee make up based on industry, and by department. Culture may even vary between offices, bringing in a unique local market flavour. Find out what matters to your group by taking a step back, observing employee interactions, spending time talking to people across the organization, and then:

Embrace your diversity. Recognize what makes your workplace special and rally around that.

What worked for my parents’ construction business is a very different playbook than the marketing agency I branched out to co-found 13 years ago. Our people, processes and tools bare, quite literally, zero resemblance to what I grew up exposed to, but the underlying principles still hold true. To “get it done”, we need to empower our people, build processes that will be both respected and executed, and provide a toolkit that will set them up for success. So, if there’s a better mousetrap available now than what you’re currently using:

Buy the better mousetrap. Amidst the war on talent, attracting and retaining key employees will boil down to culture and the tools that enable our people and processes.

Much like how driving between job sites in a “vintage” fleet or operating a broken-down piece of equipment would not be a workplace motivator for my parents’ staff, modern businesses need to be mindful that refreshing our digital tools is a priority. With no shortage of SaaS solutions available, enabling your teams with a productive and collaborative set of tools is now accessible to businesses at any size. Less time spent on the mundane automatable tasks breed new opportunities to connect and be increasingly creative. And, now that you have your team communicating better on the job, make sure you take the time to unite them outside the workplace too. How?

Build your tribe. Be the catalyst to push your team out from behind the screen to start developing relationships.

A team that plays together, wins together—right? With the rising popularity of remote working, it’s vital that we remember the importance of the face-to-face exchange. Go beyond the legacy annual holiday party and commemorate the micro-moments that carry us through the year. Win a new account? Celebrate it! Facing some obstacles or navigating change? Recognize that too. From simple surprise and delight experiences (like pop up smoothie bars that bring on a ‘gram worthy smile), to getting offsite and experiencing something new together, moments build memories, in turn, build culture. Enter the era where we become: Curators of Culture.

Author : Shaheen Yazdani is the co-founder and vice president of Intercept Group, a marcom agency that specializes in digital transformation and millennial engagement in the modern workplace
Connect : Shaheen Yazdan
Follow : @ShaheenMarie
With permission from : HR.com
Magazine Name : Leadership Excellence October 2018
Link to original article : Click Here