Every month, we’re highlighting stories, trends and tips related to employee engagement and workplace culture that organizations should be keeping top-of-mind in order to engage, retain and recruit top talent.
1. Work-life synergy is the new work-life balance. For the many Millennials today deciding to wait longer than previous generations to buy a home, get married and have kids, work often becomes the primary source of purpose in life. As a result, instead of looking for work-life balance, which traditionally focuses on balancing the needs of work and family, they’re more interested in work-life synergy, which is about finding equal fulfilment from the two. This 15Five report defines work-life synergy as “a fulfilling personal life bolstered by an equally fulfilling work life that makes employees feel supported, engaged and meaningful.” According to the report, this mentality is also flowing down to Gen Z, who are just beginning to enter the workforce and are seeing less of a divide between personal life and career. Key takeaway: Companies need to make sure they’re providing the support, flexibility and tools that will ensure employees feel that sense of meaning and fulfillment at work. This includes not only supporting the whole employee through wellness, mental health and other programs, but also goes back to the basics of making sure employees understand the value they bring to the company and their career path forward.
2. There’s confusion over who owns employee engagement and culture. We work with companies who struggle with this question all the time: who “owns” employee engagement and culture at an organization? Is it HR? Is it corporate communications? Is it the CEO? Maybe someday every company will have a chief culture officer to oversee these efforts, but until then, many companies are struggling to figure out where the responsibility lies. Key takeaway: The truth is, engagement and culture can’t be owned by any one department or person – they require collaboration across teams and a commitment from every employee, from the c-suite to entry-level. And while HR shouldn’t own it, they do need to play a critical role in it – which requires evolving beyond the traditional HR functions to think about the bigger picture. This Harvard Business Review article takes a look at how HR can help drive culture change.
3. Communication during change can make or break your culture. They say change is inevitable, and that’s certainly true when it comes to the workplace. Scanning headlines from the past few weeks, I see reports about executive leadership changes at Google, the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, and other news that certainly has an impact on those companies’ employees. And when it comes to employee engagement, there are few things that tank your scores faster than poorly communicated changes. It’s a surefire way to bring the culture down and cause employees to put one foot out the door. Key takeaway: Whether you’re merging with another company, making organizational changes or moving to a new location, concise and consistent communications are critical to keeping employees engaged and avoiding a negative impact on culture. Here are best practices for communicating during change.
What are some trends that you’re seeing in the workplace? We’d love to share them in a future post! Check back next month for more.