We put the question to our ZSA team and what follows is a collection of their industry insight.
The idea of a strong corporate culture has become a heavily emphasised aspect of the modern workplace. “Companies should consciously build a corporate culture and ensure employees are a part of the process,” says Caitlyn Waring, Consultant. Employees are becoming increasingly aware of organizational values and look for them as part of their job search. A strong corporate culture enables a company to lure top talent and, subsequently, succeed. As such, “companies should have a clear vision, consistently communicated to employees,” adds Caitlyn.
The question then becomes what this corporate culture should look like. “People always want to know that someone has their back, whether it’s their boss when dealing with a department head, or a senior associate when dealing with a partner on a transaction. People need to feel secure in their work environment without feeling that someone will throw them under the bus if it benefits them,”explains Mike Aujla, Partner at ZSA. The underlying theme being highlighted is that the onus is on the employer to foster an environment built on trust. Marie-Helene Cloutier, Consultant, puts it simply, “winning workplaces are created by encouraging an honest and open relationship. Managers should trust their employees and avoid micro-managing.”
Now, more than ever, employers shouldn’t shy away from thinking outside-the-box in order to engage their employees in a corporate culture. Travis Usher, Consultant, describes his perception of the topic: “I think, increasingly, employees value recognition from their employers that the top-down, “one size fits all” approach to running an organization might not be the most productive, or even viable structural model. “Work/life balance” is a phrase that gets tossed around often, but I think it’s more accurate to say “work/life integration”: if the expectation is that no one is ever truly “off” from work (answering calls, emails, etc. at all hours), then there needs to be some reciprocal flexibility with respect to telecommuting; working non-traditional hour; working around family commitments; scheduling time for physical health, etc. Someone is more likely to fully commit to the success of their company – and love it in the process – if they know an hour devoted to a child’s ballet recital won’t be frowned upon by the powers that be.”
Warren Bongard, ZSA’ President, offers an important piece of advice to all the companies out there. An organization’s success and reputation is highly dependent upon its ability to embrace diversity and realize its benefits. When asked by our clients how to attract the top talent across Canada, we encourage them to promote talent management practices that champion the support and advancement of women, minorities, aboriginals, people with disabilities and those from all different backgrounds. Several of ZSA’s institutional #Winning clients are nationally recognized for having exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs and we are so proud of that. Other companies should really follow suit and help make a more positive impact on our community as a whole.”
By Sean Gardiner, ZSA