These days a modern workplace invites diversity, encourages innovation and is inclusive of all cultures, but as a business leader, cementing this ethos can often feel like a minefield.
However, it’s never too late to determine the workplace culture you want to build.
Companies like Atlassian and Marque Lawyers are renowned for having a vibrant, creative and productive work culture. Now a recent research project conducted by A Human Agency (A-HA!) for the Centre for Workplace Leadership has found that both Atlassian and Marque Lawyers share one underlying factor: the ability to communicate a clear vision of their culture and values.
The research suggests the basis of a modern and thriving organisation is best defined as:
- A strong values-led culture;
- A focus on strong employee relationships, creating higher engagement;
- Transparency and open communication;
- Flexible working;
- A workplace inclusive of everyone, encouraging diversity and innovation;
- A move away from a traditional ‘command-and-control’ model.
However you choose to define a modern work space, here are three ways you can boost culture and engagement into your business:
1. Create a values-led culture as your foundation
Great organisations spend time understanding the special sauce recipe that makes up their culture and values. It’s this special recipe that keeps employees engaged and motivated to perform in their roles.
The formula is simple; a clear organisational purpose or vision, leadership buy-in, and distributed accountability so that everyone has a role to play in leading with the right intentions, says A-HA! Co-Chief Executive Officer, Simon Corcoran.
“What’s intriguing about Atlassian is how they’ve remained true to the leader’s vision and goals of being a values led organisation, even as they’ve grown into a large global business,” says Corcoran.
The business is built upon six value themes – transparency, honesty, balance, the customers, teamwork, and change – which everyone understands and willingly adopts.
Atlassian has maintained a relatively flat structure, which means ‘decisions, sharing and learning’ are evenly distributed throughout the business. This allows the senior team to tap into the expertise of their entire 1,400+ employees, says Corcoran.
In order to shake things up, every quarter the team stops the normal work routine for 24 hours to work on innovative projects benefiting the company.
2. Communication is key to strong relationships
Strengthening your work place relationships through open and transparent dialogue is another way of ensuring your core business values are communicated, according to A-HA! Co-Chief Executive Officer Katriina Tahka.
For example, Marque Lawyers is proud of their workplace flexibility because they engage in timely conversations about what’s most important. The leadership team has cultivated an open communication style to ensure all outcomes are met and high performance is never compromised because everyone knows there are no hidden surprises, says Tahka.
3. Build an inclusive work culture
Every one of your employees brings different qualities and skills to their job so it’s important you understand how the rich diversity of your teams can help your business.
Marque measures its inclusive culture success in its own unique way, such as taking pride in the fact that 17 babies have been born to employees since the firm was established seven years ago, and that 100% of those employees returned to work and still remain today, says Tahka.
The firm is a strong gender equality supporter and a stand out against their peers in their attraction and retention of women in the workplace. Marque is proud of the fact that 50% of partners are female and 69% of all employees are female, a testament to its culture of workplace flexibility and connectivity.
Any businesses, big or small, can create a modern workplace culture that is open, innovative, productive and rewarding for all stakeholders and boosts productivity and business performance.
To learn more about creating a modern workplace culture, visit A-HA!
Written by: Thea Christie