(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by Mars Drinks. They believe the workday can be much more than the daily grind. That’s why they’re 100% dedicated to the workplace. They deliver workplace drink solutions that inspire organizations and their people to rethink the daily grind and be more productive, collaborative and engaged. Learn more at marsdrinks.com/rethink. Enjoy the post!)
For a second year, I’ve had the opportunity to attend the Great Place to Work conference. You might think that the conference would be the same from year to year, but that’s not the case. Last year, there was a theme around innovation and Victoria B. Mars, chairman of the board for Mars, Inc. spoke about the company’s programs that encourage employee innovation.
This year, a key theme emerged around building and maintaining corporate culture. Several CEOs in attendance (not just speakers) commented on how sustaining their corporate culture was a top priority.
I’d like to believe that, by now, we realize that having an authentic and transparent culture is necessary for business success (translation: bottom-line success). But that doesn’t make creating culture any easier. The steps and components to building a compelling culture can often still elude us. Part of the reason is that, while organizations understand that culture is important, they are sometimes reluctant to dedicate huge resources toward developing culture without knowing the return.
During this year’s Great Place to Work conference it occurred to me that maybe we’re looking at the culture conversation all wrong. Is it possible the foundation to building a corporate culture already exists and we simply need to rethink or change our mindset?
I was honored to have the opportunity to interview Xavier Unkovic, global president of Mars Drinks, and Michael C. Bush, chief executive officer of Great Place to Work. So I decided to ask them what it takes to build and maintain a positive workplace culture. Here’s what they said are the 3 must-haves:
- Trust: It starts here. Trust is very easy to say and very hard to build. But it’s absolutely necessary. If you want employees to be engaged with their work, they must trust their manager and the organization. Employees need to trust the people they are expected to collaborate with.
- Freedom: Employees need the freedom to do things, to try things and to (safely) make mistakes. This ties into the trust component. Employees need to have the ability to talk about their work without apprehension. It’s how they learn and grow professionally.
- Community: Organizations that build employee teams where trust and freedom are valued at every level of the organization…well, they’re really building community. And communities get stronger when all the members of the community feel they are able to do their best work. Employees need the positive well-being to contribute to the community.
Another aspect of culture that Xavier and Michael agreed upon is this: businesses that do not look for ways to continuously evolve their culture can will quickly find themselves obsolete. There has never been a time like today when organizations can become irrelevant in a heartbeat. The good news is that evolving the business does not have to involve grandiose and expensive initiatives. It does need to challenge and motivate us to become more productive, collaborative and engaged.
Every organization is looking for big results from their culture. During our conversation, Xavier said, “Our goal as managers and leaders is to take care of our community.” They want engaged associates who collaborate effectively to achieve the company’s goals. At Mars Drinks, they call it workplace vitality. It happens at the intersection of well-being, collaboration, engagement and productivity. Mars Drinks wants to lead the business conversation about workplace vitality and help businesses manage their most important asset– their people.
Mars Drinks has developed a list of practical tips for business pros to use in taking the first step toward building a more collaborative, engaged, healthier and productive work environment – these tips can help you “Rethink the Daily Grind” – you can download them here. They are easy to implement, practical ideas that you can share with your management team over a cup of coffee or cuppa tea that will lead to big results. Again, it’s those small steps that can lead to big results!
Now, there is one thing you might be wondering. How does Rethinking the Daily Grind and creating workplace vitality impact the bottom-line? It’s a good question. And one I had the chance to ask Xavier and Michael.
Building workplace vitality and a maintainable culture of innovation isn’t all about a company’s product, service or brand. It’s about the people. It’s about making small changes every day that move the organization forward. It’s about creating a workplace that places importance on building engaging relationships. It thrives on employee collaboration. It values the well-being of people. And it focuses on delivering productivity and results.
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How does your organization rethink the daily grind? Leave us a comment or share your thoughts with @MarsDrinks on Twitter using the hashtag #RethinkTheDailyGrind.
Mars Drinks logo, video and image used with permission.