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Columbia Business Monthly

Use Technology To Support a Winning Culture

Nov 13, 2018 11:01AM ● By Kathleen Maris

By Doug Claffey, Energage

Clued-in organizational leaders know business strategy alone isn’t enough to succeed in today’s world. They know if their workplace culture isn’t strong—and if their people aren’t aligned and engaged—even the most brilliant plan is dead on arrival.

Culture change is hard. But culture technology is changing everything. Social media and forms of anonymous, two-way communication are just a couple of examples of technology that can positively influence the workplace.

Culture technology seeks to help senior leaders and individual employees collaborate to build an intentional and purposeful culture. It supports new ways of working (remote employees, collaboration across teams, project and task management). It supports the cultural bonds that bring teams together.

Technology has the potential to substantially improve our work experience. In our own research, Energage has identified three key practices that achieve high levels of employee engagement:

1. Leaders at top workplaces must place employees at the center of their thinking. During the 1980s and ’90s, there was a mantra of customer-centricity. In time, employers realized the benefits of putting employees—especially front-line employees—at the center of strategy. Today, leaders seek to understand what motivates and engages the workforce through feedback channels such as surveys.

2. Leaders must connect with all employees in a way that builds trust. By default, employees tend to look at senior leaders with a degree of distrust and cynicism. Employees are inclined to assume the worst and rarely speak up. Establishing psychological safety in the workplace should be a foundation for any healthy company culture. This requires going beyond traditional internal communications efforts such as town halls, executive videocasts, or IM-jams. Rather, it involves setting up communication channels through which employees can collaborate, build community, recognize one another, and provide candid feedback without fear of repercussion or exposure. 

3. Managers must adopt a coaching mindset. Team members now don’t want to be “managed.” Rather, they want their managers to help them to learn, grow, and realize their full potential.

Historically, these changes required enormous investments in senior leadership time, consultants, and in manager training. Now, leaders can rely on powerful tools to gain a deeper understanding of their organization’s culture and work dynamics. They also help get ahead of issues that are barriers to success.

Consider how today’s technology can support meaningful shifts in your organization’s workplace culture. How work is organized. How teams are built. How people interact. Those go a long way to forging the best possible culture. And in today’s workplace, the best culture wins.

Doug Claffey is CEO of Energage, a Philadelphia-based research and consulting firm that surveyed nearly 3 million employees at more than 7,000 organizations in 2018. Energage is the research partner for Top Workplaces. Nominate your company as a Top Workplace at www.topworkplaces.com/southcarolina.

About The Top Workplaces Program:

The Top Workplaces program identifies organizations that excel at organizational health and employee engagement. Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Monthly, and Charleston Business Magazine, in partnership with Energage, formerly WorkplaceDynamics, offers a free assessment through a simple, scientifically sound, and anonymous employee feedback survey.

The Top Workplaces program recruits organizations, walks them through the survey, and creates the list of top-ranking companies. Why participate? Consider the benefits:

Shout out, stand out: Encourage workplace pride. If you work at a great company, give colleagues a morale boost with something to celebrate. And give your employer well-served credit for creating something special.

Assess, reward, and improve: The results from the Top Workplaces survey can help assess the health of companies. They validate achievements, reveal problem areas, and set a foundation for new goals.

Boost recruiting: Attract and retain the best talent. Employees want to work at companies recognized as leaders that operate by a strong set of values.

Raise the business profile: The Top Workplaces logo on company materials and websites helps spread the word about successful work environments. Customers and business partners will take notice. That awareness can help create new business opportunities, too.

Earn public recognition: Achievements are recognized by Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Monthly, and Charleston Business Magazine.

“Top Workplaces is more than just recognition,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “Our research shows organizations that earn the award attract better talent, experience lower turnover, and are better equipped to deliver bottom-line results. Their leaders prioritize and carefully craft a healthy workplace culture that supports employee engagement.”

To participate, go to www.topworkplaces.com/southcarolina or call (864) 501-9699.

Energage, founded in 2006, is located in Exton, Pennsylvania. A leader in organizational health research and SaaS-based HR tools, Energage has reached more than 17 million employees from 50,000+ organizations through its employee engagement platform, Top Workplaces program, and workplace improvement solutions.

Contact: Bob Helbig, Media Partnerships Director Energage 414.207.1648

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