"People don't leave a business, they leave because of bad leadership." - Ben Safra
It is safe to say, the world is obsessed with Chat GPT, (us included). We spent hours and days interacting with it, and in fact, even wrote a collaborative blog about Challenges & Opportunities, which was super fun to do! Now we’ve shifted our attention and we're ready to move on to something new: Culture, specifically, the culture of and in companies.
Our Founder Ben, was recently interviewed by Shereen Abdullah. Ben shared his personal experience with bullying in the workplace. Dealing with difficult colleagues and even more difficult bosses. Once we thought about Ben and most likely many more like him who have or do suffer from bullying at the workplace, we asked ourselves an important question: What really defines a company? The People, The Business Model/ Product, The Profits? For us it was a no brainer, it’s all about The Company Culture!
Company culture impacts everything, in a company. It defines how the company operates, what it believes and how it wants to be remembered. Establishing a good company culture is more crucial than ever in today's cut-throat job market. It is important not only for the employees’ welfare, but also for the success of the business as a whole. What really inspired us to focus on this topic was to understand why employees choose to work at a certain organization, what motivates them, and what they love about their work environment.
We selected three inspiring companies to share their exemplary corporate culture.
THE SHAKERS & MOVERS
22% of the workforce at the Hilton Group were laid off during the pandemic. As a result, it led to the company collaborating with leading firms to provide work opportunities to suspended team members around the world. By the end of 2021, Hilton had employed tens of thousands of employees in temporary roles (Great Place to
Work, US). The Hilton Group's incredible
gesture of support for its employees during the pandemic was truly remarkable.
Despite the repercussions of the pandemic, we particularly loved the fact that while the Hilton Group's leaders are known for having hard conversations with their employees, they also provide their employees with access to counsellors at any time in order support their mental health and well-being (Great Place to Work US).
The Takeaway: The Hilton Group values its employees as its most important asset. It’s important to provide employees with a sense of security and belonging during tough times. Hence, treat your employees like your valued family members.
Nike isn’t just a brand; it’s an emotion and a feeling that we can’t express! And it's all thanks to Nike’s motto, "Just Do It," which is more than just a slogan. Not only customers but also Nike’s employees live by this motto.
Nike is a great example of a company that follows the principle of “Practice what you preach” and exhibits a strong corporate culture. The company motivates its employees to put all their efforts in and push themselves in the workplace. What we really admire about this company’s culture is its strong cultural stand for diversity and inclusivity, which supports the growth of employees' morale. Nike encourages an active lifestyle among its employees, by offering sporting facilities including tennis and basketball courts, on-site physiotherapists, and much more. Additionally, Nike also offers employees sufficient development training and courses
on management, leadership, and merchandising
to accelerate their professional growth (Comparably).
The Takeaway: Nike provides employees numerous opportunities to develop both personally and professionally, so they can discover and channel their hidden skills. It is crucial to motivate your employees to be the best versions of themselves so that they help the company reach its highest potential.
Elsevier supports the advancement of society by assisting researchers and healthcare professionals in making discoveries that improve people's lives. We are obsessed with Elsevier’s learn and grow culture; the firm states that "a company succeeds when its employees succeed."
Employees described the work atmosphere as inclusive, and supportive of mental health.
What we really admire about Elsevier’s work culture is the fact that they offer flexibility, give their employees a chance to work collaboratively, and have a diverse workforce that celebrates each other’s ideas. We deeply resonate with Elsevier’s mission to pave the way for a more culturally diverse, environmentally friendly, and physically fit world (Elsevier).
The Takeaway: Creating a mission and vision that match your employees’ personal and professional goals is rewarding in the long run.
WATER THE SEED & WATCH THE PLANT GROW
"It's not easy to start a new job and suffer bullying along with it; it was an awful experience for me when I began working in Dubai. Many companies spend time designing and implementing incredible values and culture, but where they fail is when senior leaders don’t follow that culture.” - Ben Safra
After Ben personally experienced a clear disconnect between the company culture and the behaviour of his senior leaders, it became obvious to him that something had to change. There was a clear need for reconnection and alignment between a company and its employees.
Ben has noticed throughout his career that employees tend to feel disconnected and disengaged when a leader does not exhibit the behaviours and mindsets that support a workplace culture. According to our research, companies with a lack of diversity and inclusivity in their leadership create an unpleasant work environment for all employees. Based on our clientele case studies, The root cause of all this chaos is the leadership’s inability to understand and effectively articulate the company's goal and vision. This may result in a work environment where employees lack direction and purpose. Leaders are known for setting the tone for how a business runs and how employees behave, good leadership is essential to developing a great workplace culture. The gap between the two creates a lack of communication and consistency which impacts the overall success and well-being of the organisation.
Sensate was created to help companies bridge the gap between workplace culture and leadership, where we curate employee experience programs that help business leaders align their mindset and behaviour with company culture.
Let's explore ways to fuel that passion and create a long-lasting culture of connection.
MAKE A WORKPLACE DIFFERENCE
Leaders of Culture
The high levels of stress and uncertainty that come with an unstable economy can impact your employees. The first step is to focus on developing leaders who will implement and follow a “trust culture". These leaders will foster a sense of security, community, and motivation among teams, which will subsequently encourage improved innovation, productivity, and business outcomes. The most successful future leaders will be emotionally intelligent, adaptive, culturally savvy, imaginative, and tech-savvy.
Build a workforce that is more self-driven, employee-friendly, and in alignment with each other. There is a dire need to focus on psychological safety and incorporate well-being initiatives. At Sensate, we design employee health and wellness programs to promote happiness and the long-term well-being of employees. Introducing well-being initiatives like self-care days, period leaves, unique team-building activities, coaching, and psychological counselling can be rewarding in the long run. Giving your employees a voice and creating a sense of belonging can eliminate existing beliefs and provide an opportunity to empower them and let them shine in their unique way.
Adaptive to change
Company culture needs to evolve and adapt to this “data-driven economy” where choices are made automatically, actions can be performed in real-time, people are globally connected, and information flows freely. Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming prevalent in the workplace at an exponential rate, and its impact on company culture cannot be ignored. AI can automate certain tasks and increase productivity, but the risk of job displacement and an uneasy feeling amongst employees is around the corner. It’s important to mitigate the negative beliefs and consider steps to collaborate AI with company culture. Start by involving transparent communication with employees about the role of AI in their work, providing training opportunities to learn new skills, and ensuring that the inclusion of AI is in line with the company's values and mission. This will result in a proactive discussion about integrating AI into company culture, as well as the creation of a positive and efficient work environment that supports both employee needs and technological breakthroughs.
Leaders need to understand the importance of living and breathing a positive company culture. Companies should not underestimate the value of their company culture. The example of Nike, Hilton, and Elsevier shows that businesses can benefit from investing money in developing and nurturing a strong company culture by increasing employee happiness, employee retention, customer loyalty, decision-making, and overall reputation. This may take time and effort, but it’s worth the investment, as the benefits and rewards reaped are well worth it in the end!
Adapt, Evolve, or Fall Behind!
Written by Melanie D'silva & Ben Safra