Article: Pivoting to the culture of tomorrow

#Trwc2018

Pivoting to the culture of tomorrow

Sumitro Ghosh, CEO, TATA Starbucks delivered an insightful keynote on his vision of the critical components that would constitute the future of workplace culture.
Pivoting to the culture of tomorrow

The businesses of tomorrow will not only be defined by the problems they solve – as in, the goods or services they develop and sell – but by their culture. As work is changing and the workforce is adapting to concepts like gig and sharing economy, or technological advances like globalization, automation and digitization, leaders are ruminating about where the life of the professional is headed. They question how to create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures even in the future. 

While the vision of the future of workplace is a little vague, what’s become abundantly clear is that the company of the future is going to have to adapt if it wants to compete, retain top talent and ultimately thrive in an increasingly interconnected world. And this is only possible when companies create efficient work cultures of the future that will be built on trust, respect, and dignity for their workforce.

Why Culture Matters?

Customer experience will never exceed your employee experience so ask yourselves are you treating your people as good as your customer?

According to The Alternative Board (TAB)’s September 2016 Small Business Pulse Survey: More business owners who identify their company as having a “strong company culture” believe that flexible schedules (78%) and telecommuting (36%) boost productivity than business owners who identify their company as having average or weak culture. The future of company culture would entail greater flexibility for employees and autonomy in deciding location and schedule of work, offering them better work life balance and stronger engagement.”

Today’s employees expect so much more than the past and they feel a sense of belonging that goes beyond the job when companies meet their expectations. There’s a competitive advantage and better results that firms experience when the company culture truly values it people.  Studies have shown that a healthier culture multiplies company growth and enhances resilience against crises, as well as the normal ups and downs of business. That’s why workplace culture should have a seat at the table and be measured in line with revenue or profit. The fact is, an organization’s culture and health is just as reliable an indicator of success as sales. A host of studies reveal that healthy organizations where employees feel valued and love coming to work typically outperform companies where employees feel disengaged and undervalued. It’s the job of the leadership team to allocate sufficient time and effort to foster the health of their organization knowing that happy employees make for better business. And it pays off, whether you have five employees or 5,000.

The future of company culture:

I think that the future health of workplace culture will begin with organizational leadership prioritizing the question: How healthy is our culture?

Company culture will switch from relying solely on external showings like providing employees dry cleaning or ping pong tables to more need based approach. In the brave new virtual world, companies have to re-imagine the way they engage their employees. Companies will be more adept at linking intrinsic needs that boost employee performance with activities that shape culture. For example, companies will focus more on physical and psychological wellbeing—intrinsic needs. The external factors would be investing in nap pods, teaching mindfulness, assigning purpose-driven work to help employees develop. Examples include more career levels and incentives, greater choices in healthcare insurance options, peer-to-peer recognition programs, and a more casual work environment. By linking external cultural manifestations to intrinsically held beliefs or needs, companies will build more resilient cultures that are less and less driven by fads and copy-cat culture plays. Driving employee experience through purpose-driven leadership is the future of company culture.

Topics: TRWC 2018, Culture

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