Organizations are only as good as their employees. And employees are only as good as the teams they operate in, and great teams can only be so if they exist within a great culture.
The dialogue on company culture has grown louder as the world of work experiences a paradigm shift. There are new generations in the workplace with a whole new set of workplace expectations. There are continuous disruptions, market volatility, increasing digitalization across the enterprise, and now, the move toward a hybrid work environment. These are some of the key reasons prompting companies to pay close attention to their culture.
What Is Culture?
Culture is the embodied values, principles, and practices that an organization follows to drive its business. It is the bond that builds trust between a company’s team members and its other stakeholders. Culture, however, cannot be static. As time changes and the needs of the business and the people running it evolve, culture must evolve too. Otherwise, it becomes irrelevant.
Company culture is now in another phase of evolution with the rise of Conscious Culture. It is time to talk about conscious culture now as we move into a world where everyone in the workplace is connected through technology but socially disconnected.
Remote teams, 24X7 operations, global operations, and hybrid work are now the new normal. In this work environment, promoting meaningful human engagement, creating a space that is psychologically safe, driving inclusion and diversity, and building trust across all levels of the organization are pressing goals.
Why Do We Need Conscious Culture?
The objective behind setting up a company culture is to establish certain management standards that facilitate smooth operations. The management standards are all about managing results, not people.
Company cultures must now work out strategies where they can manage results and enable people to be productive and professionally satisfied, especially when we cannot see them. Now, company cultures have to not only identify how to set clear goals and expectations but also enable people to identify roadblocks and convert those into opportunities for success.
Creating a workplace that is empathetic, equitable, fair, and transparent becomes critical as the need to elevate employee engagement accelerates. Given the rising skills gap and the accelerating pace of technology, attracting and retaining great employees also becomes critical for driving organizational fortunes.
Employee motivators are also now changing. While things like fancy office outings were seen as attractive drivers of engagement, the new generations want to work for value-based organizations. The new demographic in the workplace wants organizations to have clear values and purpose.
They want to know that the business is invested in creating the right culture as much as they are invested in their business outcomes. While organizations will remain capitalistic structures, employees of today want to see a heart beating within them.
What Is Conscious Culture?
All these changes and demands pave the way for conscious culture. A conscious culture is a culture that is built on purpose and operates as the cement between leadership and employees. This culture focuses on building trust between a company’s team members and its other stakeholders and fosters an environment of dignity, care, inclusion, and respect.
This culture focuses heavily on both management and employees developing high degrees of self-awareness of themselves and the environment they are a part of and operating with empathy and non-judgment. It is a culture where everyone is accountable, empowered, and willing to act in accordance with the values the company seeks to foster.
Organizations that adopt conscious culture are more open and welcoming. There are higher levels of accountability across the organization. These organizations are also transparent and fearless. Ultimately, it is the closest embodiment of what a great place to work is.
Most organizations today, however, seem to have an unconscious culture. Organizations think that offering certain ‘cool’ perks (like ping-pong tables or fancy cafes) will satisfy the search for purpose and meaning in work — that these will somehow make work meaningful to the employees.
How To Create Conscious Culture?
Conscious culture cannot be accidental. It must be intentional and can only happen when the actions of leadership, the management styles, the focus on employee wellbeing, the drive to innovate and thrive, and the focus on employee development and business outcomes are in equal measure.
Creating such a culture needs both intention and authenticity since it can only happen when the employee experience is completely aligned with meaningful, well-thought-out, enabling organizational values.
The Role of Connected Leadership in Creating a Conscious Culture
A survey revealed that 95% of Americans want to feel supported both professionally and culturally. As work becomes a place for identifying fulfillment, creating conscious culture demands deliberate intention and needs leadership investment.
Connected leadership lends itself well to building a conscious culture since its basic tenant, much like the culture, lie in self-awareness. Conscious culture demands a complete alignment of leader intentions with the employee experience.
This leadership style is steeped in service, creating avenues for development, and delivering enablement at work. It is about helping teams and coaching employees to develop the key skills needed to make conscious culture work.
Connected leadership also becomes critical since it helps leaders develop empathy to understand the “truth” of the employee experience. This leadership style is also rooted in clear communication and hence works in establishing a conscious culture, as consistent and clear communication drives understanding and buy-in.
Establishing a conscious culture demands that organizations help leaders, managers, and employees identify their set of limiting beliefs and behaviors that impede self-awareness. They must be helped to identify the limitations in their existing critical skill sets through data-backed feedback to bridge the gap between culture and conscious culture.
Coaching also becomes crucial to this mix to drive the behavioral shifts needed with empathy and without judgment. With the right mindsets in place, building a conscious culture across the organization becomes organic.
Connect with us to see how we can help your organization build connected leaders who can build conscious cultures.