Infusing company culture with binding, holistic strategies that improve work relationships, and attitudes lead any team to greater satisfaction, success, and profit which helps to create and maintain a thriving organizational culture. The author here shares her deep yet practical wisdom for creating and maintaining a sought-after workplace environment.
What is Culture Infusion?
Let’s start with culture. Culture is an embodiment of the way we live our lives; it describes our way of being. At first, I thought I could compartmentalize my life and maintain a culture specific to each segment. But that left me drained as I showed up for work and personal life in different ways.
I was infusing the principles I strove for into all aspects of my life, and I had more capacity than I ever knew was possible. This was a new approach to culture worth pursuing and developing for other businesses. So, we have. ‘Culture infusion’ simply means taking this same integrative approach to a corporate level-infusing the principles you strive for as a firm into all aspects of your business.
Let’s take creating a wellness program, for example, you could have a large wellness fair, add health screenings, and call it a wellness program-likely with low impact. Or, as we do at Actualize Consulting, you could intentionally infuse wellness into all aspects of your firm and transform your whole corporate culture. At our firm, we begin with prioritizing personal wellness and insisting on a healthy work/life balance. One of the ways we live this out is by hosting very interactive programs throughout the year to challenge our employees to learn about overall well-being.
Team members take the lead each month in sharing perspectives on topics such as how to get started making healthy changes, benefits of muscle, impacts of sugar, and how to protect and maintain your hearing health. This spring, we used an online program to track our progress, which stoked a healthy competition between employees. We also held weekly wellness gatherings with different themes, where many team members shared, among a variety of other topics, how they plan meals, their favorite ways to keep moving throughout the day, and how they stay motivated. Our latest wellness program is supporting kids with cancer by tracking the miles walked, run, or biked for a month (with Actualize giving donations to the fundraising organization), coupled with wellness sharing for the entire month.
“When I finally decided that the same principles I was applying to my personal life could translate to my corporate life as well, everything shifted and started to flow.”
Why Culture Infusion?
Taking a silo approach to a healthy corporate work culture is a dead-end street. At Actualize, we’ve learned first-hand that a holistic approach to wellness creates the opposite-it keeps opening up the possibilities and releasing more and more energy.
This dynamic cultural change starts on an individual level. You must thrive personally in order to lead others effectively. The below points outline the nine principles of Culture Infusion that will help you develop a customized plan to transform your own corporate culture, beginning with yourself. Whether you are a top-level executive or lead a team, these principles will give you valuable insights into how to create and maintain a sought-after workplace.
The 9 Principles of Culture Infusion:
- Provide Intentional Leadership Intentional leadership is being self-aware as well as knowing our teams are not one-size fits-all. When we can see each person and their strengths, we can then capitalize on those strengths.
“As each area of an employee’s life improves, it automatically boosts every other area of their life. The result is happier employees who are motivated to perform at their highest capacity, which in turn leads to happier clients.”
- Prioritize Personal Wellness When our emotional and physical tanks are full and well-functioning, we have the capacity to be our best for our teams.
- Insist on a Healthy Work/Life Balance The more balanced we are, the happier we are and the more productive we are.
- Practice Effective Communication Time expands as we are communicating effectively and efficiently. Time spinning = wasted time. Time flowing = increased time.
- Handle Conflict Directly, Openly, & Immediately Additionally, we promote being open with feelings. People do not mean to hurt our feelings; we all have our own personal issues we are dealing with, and many times we are simply being triggered by our own agenda.
- Focus on Your People Our organizations are only as good as our people.
- Regularly Conduct Employee Surveys Listening to what your people want is an easy way to increase employee satisfaction.
- Align Performance Rewards with Goals We all want to be recognized for a job well done. Aligning firm-wide and employee goals is a win-win and allows you to see the value of each of your team members as everyone focuses on the same vision.
- Encourage Team Connection We all desire connection. The team that plays together stays together. Whether through a social or a charity event, foster ways your teams can playfully interact inside and outside of work on a regular basis.