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One Sure Way to Improve Your Culture

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The holiday season is quickly approaching… yikes!

If it’s sneaking up on you (like is on me), you know it’ll be over in blur and 2022 will be here before you can say “pass the turkey”…

Before it all begins, you may want to start thinking about those important year-end assessments for your team and your business.

After all, as experienced leaders, we know the importance of getting a jump-start on our goals. We also know how much easier it is to relax and enjoy our time off with friends and family when we have things planned in advance.

Here’s a good topic to get you started…

What does your workplace culture look like right now?

As you start to reflect, here are some important things to consider…

How do you and your leadership team describe your workplace culture?

A recent HBR article shares 3 common things that can harm your culture improvement efforts.

Research by Gartner shows that on average…

…69% of employees don’t believe in the cultural goals set by their leaders,

…87% don’t understand them, and

…90% don’t behave in ways that align with them.

These data are alarming, but what’s more alarming is that most of us don’t work at a place where people would admit to “Not understanding” or “Not behaving in alignment with” …stated cultural elements or values.

If you want to learn the truth about how people feel, you’ve got to create psychological safety.

Psychological safety is the idea that I can say what’s on my mind without fear of reprisal or threat.

How do you create it?

1.  Consider how you can set the stage for it:

        • Set expectations
        • Ask about and remove barriers
        • Talk about why this is important

2.  Invite people to participate:

        • Model vulnerability and humility – no one knows everything, it’s okay to admit you don’t know all of the answers
        • Practice it through surveys, polling, small group meetings, interviews, and any medium that might work

3.  Respond well to it:

        • Praise people for engaging
        • Encourage and expect leaders to have behavioral integrity – doing what they say they will do and getting the simple things right (like being on time, and avoiding double booking meetings)

Only once you can get people to respond honestly, have leaders react well to it and see the unfiltered truth, will you really see cultural change.

If you’d like to learn more about improving your workplace culture and creating a psychologically safe environment, email me, comment below or sign up for free leadership resources here.

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