Why is workplace culture important? What kind of impact can it have on individual, team, and organizational performance? According to Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Binnu Palta Hill, workplace culture is the key ingredient in setting an organization up for success.
“If an organization’s culture is inclusive, members of the organization will feel a sense of belonging,” she says. “Research shows sense of belonging is absolutely critical to optimized performance. If you don’t have a sense of belonging, the individual is constantly searching for affirmation, which means that their energy is not going into their work and being productive.”
So what can be done to instill a better workplace culture and improve performance?
- Authenticity. Encourage leadership to understand the strengths of each individual person on their team and explicitly state that people’s individuality and strengths are valued.
- Acknowledgement. It might seem simple, but taking the time to say hello can make a difference. Everyone is busy and always in a hurry, but simple acknowledgement can improve culture. Be courteous.
- Individuation. Be mindful of individual experiences. Any time you have the impulse to fill in the blanks about someone, pause (especially if you are in a position of power) and ask yourself: Is this really true about this person? Am I assuming this about them because they’re in a particular social identity group?
- Allyship. Practice being an active bystander. When you see people being excluded in any way, lend your voice on their behalf—not doing so works against an inclusive environment. The real test of a place’s inclusive culture is the willingness of your bystanders to speak up.
Want to learn more about workplace culture and performance? Register for our free alumni webinar today: Catalyze Performance Through Cultural Transformation
July 17, 2019
Noon-1 p.m. CDT
Free for WSB alumni