The following is a guest post by Alexandra Levit
Corporate culture has undoubtedly been on organizations’ radars for the last few decades, but when we think of providing a positive one, we tend to focus only on superficial additions like free lunches, happy hours, beanbag chairs and foosball tables. But in the future world of employment, professionals of all types will expect a working experience comparable to the one they have at home via apps like Netflix and Amazon.
Compelling, enjoyable, and simple, it will be fully customized, mindful of personal preferences and goals, and focused on what the employee should be feeling and doing during each phase of their tenure with the organization. A strong culture is the linchpin of a strong experience, but getting it just right is not as easy as it sounds. For example, a recent study by Deloitte found that fewer than 12 percent of companies believe they truly understand their corporate culture.
The type of culture that will resonate in the future world of work is, first and foremost, purpose-driven – meaning that it arises from understanding what your company is deeply passionate about, what it is best in the world at, and what drives it economically. The positive difference made by a continual expression of purpose will permeate every literal and figurative corner of the organization.
For instance, an organization with a passion for helping less fortunate children might compensate employees for spending time in local schools, sponsor an onsite Montessori center, display kids’ artwork in the halls, bring aboard young teens from diverse backgrounds to serve as interns, and talk about these initiatives in the annual report and in stakeholder communications.
As organizations get flatter and leadership and employment become more transparent, cultures will increasingly emphasize accountability, efficiency and concrete contributions. And finally, cultures that can effectively mix high-tech and high-touch interactions, facilitate holistic self and team improvement, and map every experience back to that central purpose will be most likely to inspire and empower mid-century professionals.
In a recent Igloo-sponsored webinar, Talent Activation, Corporate Culture and the Employee Experience, we discussed how current and future employees can be motivated to specific actions that increase their productivity and cultural assimilation, thereby increasing engagement and retention. We also addressed how companies like Hulu and IBM are using digital advances and new technologies to activate talent and create more meaningful experiences. You can listen to the webinar replay here. Let us know what you think!
About Alexandra Levit
Alexandra Levit’s goal is to prepare organizations and their employees to be competitive and marketable in the future business world. A former nationally syndicated columnist for the Wall Street Journal and writer for the New York Times, Fast Company, and Forbes, Alexandra has authored several books, including the international bestseller They Don’t Teach Corporate in College and Humanity Works: Merging People and Technologies for the Workforce of the Future.
Alexandra has conducted proprietary research on the future of work, technology adoption, the millennial generation, gender differences and bias, and the skills gap. She is also regularly featured in outlets including USA Today, National Public Radio, CNN, ABC News, CNBC, Forbes, and the Associated Press.