“Culture” is all the knowledge, customs, and values shared by a group or society. It suggests cohesion and oneness.“Corporate culture” also implies accepted customs and traditions and collective values.
Both are based on how we are the same; what we have in common; how we are alike. But how do you build a cohesive team when all of the members are different? How do you establish commonality within diversity? And does it really make a difference? You bet it does!
Corporate culture: the remix
Remember the Great American Resignation of 2021 when nearly 4 million workers quit their jobs? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that mass exodus was the highest monthly number ever recorded. And it turns out that “toxic corporate culture” set the tipping point for most of those resignations.
You’d think at a time when prices increased for everything from houses to gas to food that a steady paycheck would be the deciding factor. But it turns out that corporate culture often trumps salary and work-life balance as a predictor of employee satisfaction and engagement. Think about that: compensation and work-life balance are not as important to millions of workers as a healthy corporate culture is!
Gone are the so-called good ol’ days when all that mattered was the bottom line—workers be d***! Employee loyalty was based on the need for a paycheck, not on how they were treated. Well today, the lowly cogs in the machine have found their voices and they demand to be heard. Ironically, it turns out that what these revolutionaries are saying isn’t so revolutionary after all: they simply want to be treated respectfully, as we all do.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means to me!
Nobody could sing it or say it better than the late great Aretha Franklin. And the C-Suite would do well to follow her advice and find out what respect means to their team members if they want to retain and engage them. And here’s the kicker: you can’t
actually earn or receive respect without building relationships. You build teams one member at a time—one relationship at a time.
In “Man in the Mirror,” another late great singer, Michael Jackson, sang this: I’m starting with the man in the mirror…I’m asking him to change his ways…And no message could’ve been any clearer…If they wanna make the world a better place…Take a look at yourself and then make a change.
For many employees corporate culture is defined by the C-Suite. The temperature, the tone, and everything else in their environment are regulated by the boss. Translation: if you’re the boss, then you should reflect your corporate culture. Is it time for you to look in the mirror, examine your leadership style, and make a change?
Charity builds strong teams
Starting with your mission statement, what kind of corporate culture reflects those aspirations and core values? Once you answer that question, you’re ready to build your team accordingly.
A Gomada.co blogger said this: “If you want to understand why team building activities are important, you need to look past the activities themselves. It’s easy to get caught up on the stupid questions and random experiences that team building often involves. When you look at team building that way, it’s easy to see it as little more than an empty workplace time-filler….Successful team building comes when you do specific, unique things as a team to achieve clearly defined goals, especially when it comes to collaborating together.”
Charitable team building transforms relationships
Relationships develop most readily through common goals and common beliefs. One common goal most of us share is the desire to make the world a better place. And the best way to do that is to help someone else—someone less well off than yourself.
If you host a charitable team building workshop you’ll accomplish 4 things: 1. You’ll pull your staff together for a cause greater than your bottomline. 2. You’ll provide opportunities for them to get to know each other without regard for titles and pecking order.
- You’ll actually have fun working on a worthwhile project that strengthens your communications and collaborative skills.
- You’ll donate a much needed gift to a fellow citizen in your own hometown.
You may donate a bike or a wagon; assemble and package school supplies or hospital care baskets. No matter the gift, what you and your team will get in return personally and professionally will exceed them all. Your whole sense of self, and the mission of your company will be transformed.
Charitable team building will make you a hero
As Bette Midler sang, your whole community will say of you:
Did you ever know that you’re my hero…And everything I would like to be?…I can fly higher than an eagle…For you are the wind beneath my wings.