When you’re building a business, you’re essentially spinning more than a dozen plates in the air. Sales, marketing, engineering, HR, brand, business development, finance, IT and more. All those plates are moving at a rapid pace as you sprint forward. Some of them fall, and you pick them up. Some of them break, and you either glue it back together or get a new and better plate. As the Facebook adage goes, move fast, break things.
One plate you do not want to break, however, is your company culture. That one is important to keep an eye on and ensure it is steadily spinning in the right direction. How you treat your employees is incredibly important to what you’re ultimately trying to create, and I fundamentally believe that business leaders need to be more “human” when it comes to business.
In a July 2019 podcast, Patti Fletcher and I discussed our perspectives on creating better employee engagement, defining culture and seeking out opportunities for harnessing talent in our changing world of work.
Some of the most important topics we considered were:
- The fourth industrial revolution. Technology is changing the dynamics of business and the way we work. This new trend toward automation requires people to be more human than ever.
- The changing dynamics and demographics of the workforce. By next year, more than 60% of the workforce will be made up by millennials. And according to a study by Intuit on LinkedIn, 43% (nearly half) will self-describe as self-employed. This certainly has impact on how we interact as colleagues, and why a “one size fits all” approach no longer works for HR departments looking to attract and retain talent.
- Employee engagement across cultures. Video calls are so critical to developing cross-office connections. Video conferencing has existed for a long time now – but how often do we get complacent and simply not turn on the video? Visual, human connection helps build brands (not just companies) that have employees that work in different locations around the world.
- The evolution of people-based strategies. There is an ongoing evolution from diversity, to inclusion, and ultimately to belonging. Leaders must create people-based programs and strategies keep employees engaged.
- A values and employee focused culture. Developing a culture that leads with what a company values and why – that is what ultimately creates a better experience for employees. I call it a Triple Bottom Line – happy shareholders, happy clients and happy employees. All three can coexist and lead to a profitable future.
I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with multinational, multicultural, multilingual teams dispersed all over the world. My company’s Global Expansion Platform™ enables international business expansion while eliminating the need to navigate international tax, HR and legal issues, or set up foreign subsidiaries. I have seen first-hand that companies who make employees feel valued and heard across cultures and are by far the most successful.