It is difficult to define something as abstract as workplace culture, but it is the cohesive element that drives the success of an organization. Without the “right” workplace culture, you cannot attract top talent, and you will not be able to keep the talent that you do have. A company culture is made up of behaviors and attitudes that emanate from the top.

In his 2017 research report, Josh Bersin reveals that 86 percent of business leaders rate culture as one of the more urgent talent issues, yet only 14 percent understand what the “right” culture really is. This year it’s essential to move beyond just talking about culture. For organizations to effectively compete for talent, they must be authentic, align culture and brand, and stop talking about culture without following through and living it from the top down.

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Take.Action.Now. – 3 Steps to Better Workplace Culture

  1. Define and refine culture. Bersin predicts that defining your culture will be an urgent factor in the coming year. It’s more than just defining your culture, though. You must leverage technology and other tools to measure your culture – from monitoring your brand identity and reputation online to listening to feedback from team members.
  2. Remove hierarchy. Linear hierarchies limit creativity and slow innovation. Seek ways to enable collaboration and team involvement. Investing in technology – a way for your teams to easily communicate, innovate, and collaborate – can help. Millennials and Gen C don’t adhere to hierarchies and may reject a company that isn’t less structured.
  3. Embrace flexibility. This isn’t a new discussion, but it is an urgent one, because if you’re a company still pushing the 9-5, at-the-desk, in-the-office agenda, I can almost guarantee that you have team members who would rather be anywhere else, who aren’t giving you 100 percent. More than that, you’re not attracting the top talent you need to compete.

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If you want the best talent, you need to know who you are as an organization, what your brand stands for, and how to carry that through to your team. Workplace culture is an urgent issue; while it can be difficult to define and understand, it is a determining factor in performance levels, motivation, engagement, and retention. Keep in mind, however, that while you may have an awesome culture, you must also have a solid business strategy intent on delivering results. Lock down that business strategy and then gain the ultimate differentiator with a culture that kicks ass. Top talent will come knocking and stay.


As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

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