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“Culture is dynamic, in that it can evolve with new experiences. This change can happen in two ways: as the result of a clear and present crisis — the ‘burning platform’ syndrome — or through a managed evolution under a skilled and sophisticated manager.”
– MIT professor Edgar Schein
Today let’s work on managed evolution, since heck, the Covid-19 crisis we’re in isn’t going away any time soon. We’ll address how to evolve your culture in ways that will bring more fulfillment, emotional engagement, reduced turnover and increased happiness and productivity to your team, be they remote, hybrid, or in-office workers.
1. Value—And Celebrate—One Another
Build an Attitude of Gratitude: Our client Caliber made a leaf for each employee, celebrating their coolest qualities, for Thanksgiving a couple of years back. Check out how beautiful and meaningful the visual is, and note a short video of this and picture of each person’s leaf would thrill remote workers, hybrid, and in-office workers.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remind your team how much you value them!
Make it easy! You can even create a virtual or physical board like one of our clients did:
Know What Your Core Is: every organization has a Core, a purpose, a mission, something sacred to what it is and why it exists. When we have a clear Core, we communicate it often and ultimately it is the foundation beneath all that we do. We navigate change through the following 6 levels, noting how they all shine outward from the Core.
Learn About Everyone’s Preferences And Idiosyncracies: A fun way to do this is to have a Google sheet with a column for each team mate. Then have rows of questions, such as ‘do you collect anything? If so, what?’, ‘if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?’, ‘what’s your go-to when you need to unwind and de-stress?’, etc. Then have your team get on a small group call (5-6 people max) and fill in their answers as they talk through them. Fun, great bonding, and you’ll learn about one another!
- Track how you’re doing here—are you loving your team?
- Take our Emotional Resilience Assessment
- Read an excerpt of our book, Power Your Tribe
2. Grow Together And Achieve Through Each Other
Have Shared Experiences To Engage Brains And Hearts:
- Learning together lights up our brains in wondrous ways. Our amygdala is busy generating the good stress of stretching ourselves mentally and emotionally, our prefrontal cortex is lit up with problem-solving, language skills, envisioning a future where we apply these new tools, our hippocampus links in via emotion and memory as we learn and grow with this “good stress”
- Engaging, aligning, enrolling together results in dopamine being released as we anticipate or receive rewards, oxytocin floods our systems as we connect with one another and foster a feeling of emotional bonding
- Generalizing together is how we can form strategies based on assumption or past successes with the goal of repeating rewards
- Systematizing together is creating change that is hard to unlearn. We do this with best practices, standard operating procedures, shared tools and language to create a common “way” of working together to simplify our approach and optimize our results
Here are some images from our clients, from fancy to simple:
As we learn together, track our progress together, share our mission, vision, values together, we build social ties. These ties, plus shared rituals, form the foundation of our emotional engagement in our work experience. We are a tribe. We are in this together.
The above tools will help you build a robust and emotionally engaging remote culture, and to manage and navigate the evolution of your team.