What Is Culture?
Forbes defines workplace culture as the following:
the behavior of humans within an organization and the meaning that people attach to those behaviors
Essentially, workplace culture can be boiled down to a few specific ideas.
- Culture is the environment you create for your employees.
- Culture plays a powerful factor in determining your employees work satisfaction, progression, and relationships.
- Culture is the mix of your organizations leadership, values, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes that contribute to the emotional and relational environment of your workplace.
- Culture is driven by generally unspoken and unwritten rules that help form bonds between colleagues.
Things Are Changing… Fast
In the modern business world, the rate of change is nearly impossible to match. Technology is increasing at speeds that make business and cultural changes difficult to manage or adapt to.
Culture changes in the workplace are taking companies by surprise. Maybe your own company has felt the effects of employees who stay for 6 months before moving on or demands from your workforce to embrace remote work or flexible schedules.
Part of the reason for this is the rapidly changing makeup of the modern workforce.
Baby Boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day for the next ten years.
60% of US businesses (under $50M) will be sold, closed, or merged between 2017 and 2025.
35% of the workforce is currently millennials making them the majority of workers alive right now.
By 2025 millennials will make up 75% of the workforce.
These trends indicate sweeping changes that are about to come over the workforce as you know it. Sales, marketing, finance, HR, and operations are going to drastically change in a relatively short amount of time.
Decision makers are soon going to be primarily millennials and they will be making decisions like millennials. “Business as usual” will soon be anything but. Your business will need to be flexible to a degree you’ve never imagined before.
So What Can I Do?
There is so much talk about WHAT is changing, but there is very little being said about HOW to navigate these changes. Want to learn more?
Everything starts with motivation. At the core of the culture discussion is a microscope hovering over something we’re all familiar with – the human heart.
The culture question is essentially and existential question, “what do you WANT?”
For many, the trends occurring in the marketplace are frustrating because, in their mind, this question has no relevance at all. The idea that what people want, when it comes to employment, matters is very foreign to many established business men and women.
The reality is that this new wave of commerce that is coming really only cares about that one thing, for both consumers and the workers providing the services and products.
Understanding what people want is the key to creating culture that lasts and culture that serves the business and the employees.
What Do You Want?
In broad brushes, let’s break down the generation differences based on several different criteria.
Culture and Communication
38% of Millennials and Gen Z feel hindered in their development due to stress and looming burnout.
Consider the fact that the large majority of people in this category are not in leadership positions, but they are already feeling stress and burnout hindering their ability to work.
One of the main reasons for this burnout is the poor understanding between Millennials and Gen Z and the Boomers and Gen X who are usually their bosses. Take this example of a text exchange below:
This is not an uncommon exchange in today’s business landscape. It is also leading to the very issues that Boomers and Gen X leaders complain about. The reason that Millennials and Gen Z are constantly job-hopping and poorly engaged is because they feel that they are not trusted, misunderstood, and that their leaders do not understand the modern world and how they like to work.
The bottom line is simple. Your culture is just as important as your business strategy. Your people are the only way you will accomplish anything in your business and your people will only work for you if you work for them.
Your culture exists whether you create it or not. You can either have a culture that strengthens or undermines your business objectives. The value of a positive and powerful culture is obvious – it attracts talent, drives employee engagement and retention, and impacts happiness and satisfaction for everyone in your company.
Don’t let your company culture create itself. You create it and make it amazing.