Culture is the heartbeat of any company. Creating a culture of inclusion and belonging starts with caring. Warmth and caring are how you treat everyone in your company’s ecosystem: employees, management, leaders, customers, and yourself.
Consider this, currently, it does not matter if you are a Baby Boomer, Gen X, Millennial, or Gen Z everyone wants to work in a caring workplace. Gen Z makes up roughly 1/3 of the workforce. (OC Tanner’s 2021 Global Culture Report) Gen Z employees are highly connected to social issues and want to make a difference in their jobs as opposed to climbing the corporate ladder.
In fact, 30% of Gen Z employees would take a 10%–20% pay cut to work for a cause they care about. They crave in-person connection and want to feel they belong.
As you can see, the top 5 traits require Caring.
According to Dr. Gregory Stebbins in his Forbes article, Transcendent Leaders: Cocreating A Caring Culture, there are four critical parts to creating a caring culture.
Using self-inquiry and becoming aware of who you are, what you do, and how you do it is a critical first step. Facilitating awareness of others in the company helps them understand why things are done the way they are done. It also opens the opportunity to capture the wisdom to see how things might be done differently to provide greater caring.
According to Susan Robertson, author of her book REAL Leadership: Waken to Wisdom to improve your attunement skills and develop your human touch, reach out to people and give them your time. When you give people your time, it sends the message that they are important. Attunement comes from a position of leadership humbleness and represents active attention and ongoing awareness.
Building a caring culture requires alignment with what each person believes, what he or she does, and how he or she does it. Support is important to ensure that people who are tone-deaf to the desired culture have an opportunity to shift perspectives. There are times where the company culture and an individual’s beliefs, values, and attitudes are so out of alignment that the best decision is to help the individual find a position with a different company where he or she would have better alignment with who they are.
Be sure to connect employees’ work to your organization’s purpose and show how employees are making a difference. Train leaders on modern leadership skills like mentorship, coaching, inspiring, and teaching. Create opportunities for in-person connection if possible. Have a robust recognition program that narrates what your employees are doing for clients and the company. Share employee successes with peers and customers.
A culture of care comes in many forms. Follow the 4 As, Awareness, Attunement, Alignment, and Action and forge ahead in success for your employees, management, leaders, customers, and yourself.
Half, R (2021). The secrets to hiring and managing gen z. Roberthalf.com
Robertson, S (2019). Real leadership: Waken to wisdom. The Books Factory.
Stebbins, G (2018, November 5). Transcendent leaders: cocreating a caring culture. Forbes Business Council.
Tanner, OC (2021). 5 Culture trends for 2021. O.C.Tanner.com