We begin to get a feel for a room from the first step we take inside. We feel temperature, light, air quality, and aesthetics. After spending time co-occupying that space with other people, we begin to feel and sense a group vibe. We’ve all been to parties that should be awesome but aren’t or family dinners that check all the boxes to make it great but it’s not. These same experiences shape the workplace. Are the feelings and vibes real or perceived? Does it matter?
When employees come to work every day, they are met with a feeling. The office lighting, the floor plan, the general comfort, and the demeanor of colleagues all play a key role in shaping how employees feel about the environment they work in. This general feeling when applied universally to all employees is a large driver for company culture. But some organizations are met with frustration when they go through the motions checking all the great-place-to-work checkboxes and find their employees still perceive a lackluster experience. Whose fault is this? It doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, the company leadership maintains primary responsibility for how the workplace feels and feelings are subjective. The reason so many organizations fall short of cultivating a great company culture is because they can’t get past the fact that it doesn’t matter how many great things the organization does on culture. Most important is how the employees perceive the company.
The million-dollar question: how do we fix it? Books can and have been written trying to answer this very question. However, one of the best places to start is with communication. We live in a society that has embraced text-based forms of communication. Most of the communication that happens with in businesses occurs in written form. To try and turn back the clocks and shy away from an emotion-poor, communication median is pointless. The best alternative companies have is to shift to a concerted effort of infusing emotion into written language.
In a podcast with Scott Halford, he brought to light another concept that can help craft a positive perception of an organization’s culture. Backed with research from his book, Scott suggests that creating a brain-friendly environment will drastically increase the productivity and efficiency of employees. To that end, companies must both embrace change allowing for the transition to a brain-friendly environment and create a place where progress is measured and rewarded. To listen to the full podcast at Forging Employee Experience and connect with Scott visit www.completeintelligence.com or www.scotthalford.com.
Molding another person’s perception takes a huge amount of effort. Companies can’t take shortcuts and change doesn’t happen overnight. By listening to employees and understanding how they are feeling, organizations can know if their efforts to saturate communication with emotion and create a brain-friendly culture are successful.