And while culture can be complicated to define, these last few years have added complexity, requiring more thought and intention than ever before. Some would describe culture as a feeling you get when you walk into an office. Or the relationship between team members. Or what it looks like through the lens of social media. But what really makes up your culture in 2022 and beyond?
What culture is not.
Culture is not your bean bag chairs, your nap pods, your open concept office, or your snack supply. These types of ‘perks’, although perhaps once desirable, are no longer what attract or retain top talent. Studies show these office additions are rarely used, and can even be perceived as annoying. Foosball tables and Asteroid arcade machines have been replaced with balance, collaboration, professional, and personal development. Your investment in video games has shifted to an investment in values. In individuals. In motivation. And in work-life integration. Your culture is an extension of your brand. And that brand is just as much inward facing to your team as it is outward facing to your customers.
How culture ‘happens’.
Culture is born from solid, defined, and demonstrated core values. They need to be memorable, understood, and an example of what is tolerated (and not tolerated) in an organization. From there, culture becomes a combination of year-over-year evolution of traditions, policies, and personalities. Culture (unlike your values) should evolve as your company matures and the team grows and changes. And while there is a natural rhythm to the ethos and personality of an organization, there are also intentional contributions to be made.
Team Optimization is the new culture.
The most significant component of your culture is the individuals that make up your team(s). Across the board, they share the values that your business has clearly articulated. But It is their personalities, their interactions with others, and the way they perceive and experience the world around them that make them unique. Yet, how do you get to know your team on an individual level? How do you understand what motivates one person compared to their colleague sitting next to them? Finding these answers (if an organization has enough curiosity to find out), is a job often thrown at HR. through annual reviews and organized team-building experiences. While those may be important, they are often seen as one-and-done events. It is difficult to measure their impact or effect, making them limited tools to gather insights about your individual team members. Team Optimization, however, is ongoing and progressive. It uses tools to learn about each other and share that information on an ongoing basis. At Flipp, The Enneagram Self-Awareness Assessment is the foundation of our Team Optimization Program, both for our own team, and the teams of our clients. The Enneagram looks at an individual’s unconscious motivation, their superpower, their passion, and their blindspots. To be part of a Flipp-Optimized Team, means you are assessed and educated in all 9 Enneagram personality types. But this information cannot simply sit in a drawer once completed. An optimized team and culture requires ongoing work and opportunities for growth.
Self-awareness is now considered the key indicator to successful leadership on all levels. To optimize your team and their performance, you need self-awareness ingrained in your culture, and rooted in empathy. By understanding the lens through which others see the world and their work, you invest in improved communication, reduced conflict, greater collaboration, better decision-making, higher employee engagement, and ultimately, a healthier culture.
Investing in Personal Development is an Investment in Professional Development.
Your A-Players are looking for continuous learning, both personally and professionally. More and more these are seen as one and the same. At Flipp, we work with teams to invest in tools and programs that support team optimization, leading to a more progressive and inclusive culture. Using insights on motivation, perspective, triggers, and areas for growth, we guide individuals (and ultimately teams) along a continuum of self-awareness.
Investing in team optimization is the key to unlocking a new understanding of what culture is today. In a post-Covid world and ever-changing workforce demographic, you need to evolve your culture away from the perks of the past, toward self-awareness, empathy, and understanding. We need this in our organizations (and our world) now more than ever.
Want to learn more about how the Flipp Team Optimization Program will help your company culture thrive? Get in touch and let’s start the conversation.