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Create a Cohesive Company Culture

Amid a worker shortage, being able to have workers connect to an engaging business culture could be a top priority in the months ahead—to both attract and retain employees. A new study digs into this topic a bit further, looking at how hybrid knowledge workers connect to corporate culture, which is defined as when employees identify with, care about, and believe in the culture.

The study surveyed more than 3,900 hybrid/remote knowledge workers and found only one in four employees reported they are connected to their organization’s culture, according to Gartner.

With this information, what can then be done to create a more cohesive company culture? The analyst firm suggests roughly 60% of these employees say their direct manager is one of the top two influences on their connection to corporate culture. Based on the results of the survey, Gartner recommends three things.

First, companies should define team culture—which apparently isn’t happening for many organizations. The Gartner survey of knowledge workers revealed less than half of managers can effectively communicate why the broader organizational culture is important.

In order to address this, managers should gauge employees’ understanding of the broader organizational values and their team’s specific norms and processes. Managers can then work together with their teams to translate what each value means in the context of their work. They can then create a list of behaviors that contribute to the culture and those that will derail it.

Next, businesses should bring that culture to life, as Gartner suggests, which also isn’t happening in many organizations. The Gartner survey of knowledge workers found only 34% of managers design processes that allow teams to demonstrate behaviors that are a part of their team culture.

To create a more cohesive culture, managers should pick an organizational value and then define what behaviors are associated with this goal for their specific team. Culture hacks create momentum by creating visible change quickly and with lower effort.

Finally, Gartner suggests making culture personal. Today’s knowledge worker survey suggests only half of employees believe their manager is effective at helping them understand the link between the organizational culture and their day-to-day work.

To fix this, managers can increase efforts to connect employees with company and team culture by focusing on the five moments that matter most to employees in the hybrid and remote workplace including: peer recognition, performance reviews, manager support during a difficult personal experience, celebrating successful work outcomes, and observing senior leaders talking about organizational purpose.

While I recognize the challenge this presents businesses—creating a cohesive culture is time consuming and tedious—I also realize the labor shortage isn’t getting any better. One part of the solution is going to have to be helping employees connect with corporate culture. Do you agree?

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