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2023 articles highlighting workplace culture issues

2023 Roundup: 10 Articles Highlighting the Impact of Workplace Culture

In 2023, business leaders were busy recalibrating after years of pandemic-related disruption. The health crisis was essentially over, but its aftershocks—including employees’ redefined expectations about work and ongoing economic uncertainty—continued to shake the underpinnings of many companies. For most organizations, there was no getting back to “normal” in 2023.

It was a year for leaders to reexamine what it takes to build and maintain high-performing teams. And they sought new strategies to make their companies successful in a rapidly evolving work environment. As they looked for answers, one topic continued to surface. The common denominator that empowers businesses to gain ground is a high-performing organizational culture.

Every week, Culture Matters addresses different issues and challenges that companies face and how workplace culture factors into the solutions. The following ten articles reflect the scope of workplace culture in the business world this year.

1. Stuck in the Middle: The Challenge of Managing a Hybrid Workforce

Telecommuting exploded during the pandemic out of necessity. After the health crisis subsided, many workers and employers continued to see the benefits of operating with a remote workforce or the increasingly popular concept of hybrid teams. The flexibility and cost savings were attractive to both sides.

However, the new formats put middle managers in a bind. Suddenly, they were required to deliver results and maintain productivity while navigating the complexities of how, when, and where their team members were performing their jobs. We examine the complexities of the middle manager’s role in this new work structure and how executives can leverage company culture to help these key employees succeed.

2. Why People Still Quit in a Shaky Economy & How CEOs Can Respond

The Great Resignation is softening in today’s unpredictable economy, but companies continue to face an uphill hiring battle. Many workers who reevaluated their priorities during the pandemic will no longer tolerate unfulfilling jobs or workplaces where they don’t feel safe, supported, or heard. These employees are willing to risk quitting, even if it means less financial security.

This article outlines five primary reasons employees walk away and what organizations can do to prevent rampant turnover.

3. What Do You Want From Me? Getting Clear on Expectations at Work

Studies show that misaligned expectations lead to decreased employee morale and engagement. Employees can’t perform well and lose interest in their jobs if they are confused about their roles or what their bosses want from them.

This disconnect may be partly due to the volatile work environment everyone has been navigating over the past several years. But to move their companies forward, leaders must provide clarity by outlining goals, basic job accountabilities, and behavioral standards. We break down how they can meet these objectives and build a confident workforce.

4. It All Adds Up: The Connection Between Workplace Culture and Profit

In a year of roller-coaster economic headlines, companies faced multiple challenges to stay in the black. Some leaders countered by paring costs and declined to invest in “soft areas” like workplace culture that didn’t seem relevant to the issues at hand. But ignoring culture to focus solely on drumming up revenue is shortsighted because companies can’t succeed without a committed, unified workforce.

This article delves into five critical ways a strong workplace culture contributes to profitability and why leaders can’t afford to ignore this vital part of their business.

5. Improve Workplace Culture by Building Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is our ability to recognize and understand our emotions and use this awareness to manage our behavior and relationships. Our EQ can determine the level of success we achieve in our personal and professional lives.

Employees’ interpersonal skills are critical for organizations to compete in the marketplace. High EQ allows staff to interact more effectively and create an atmosphere where they’re comfortable and motivated to innovate, solve problems, and deliver outstanding service. We explain what EQ looks like in the workplace and how company culture can help cultivate and benefit from it.

6. Winning the Buy-in Battle: Getting Employees On Board with Change

Companies need to be nimble and adaptive to stay competitive and withstand emergencies. But employees often resist change, making it hard for leaders to steer their businesses in new directions.

This article dives into how to cultivate buy-in and prevent organizational inertia. It covers why employees cling to old ways, and the six areas leaders must address to create a culture of change.

7. Taking the Pulse of Employees’ Wellbeing and Workplace Culture

When the pandemic hit, the topic of employee wellbeing shifted from something people rarely discussed to a dominant topic. The health crisis paved the way for workers to openly discuss how mental and emotional health issues affect their jobs.

As leaders took measures to support their people, many businesses discovered an additional outcome—their companies became more successful. By elevating employee wellbeing to a prominent place in their workplace culture, they improved the health of their entire organization. We detail why employers should prioritize their staff’s wellbeing and the right way to do it.

8. Handing Over the Keys: Helping Employees Take Ownership of their Work

Some managers hover over their team members to make sure things stay on track. But micromanaging is exhausting and can lead to other gaps in a leader’s performance. And aside from a few employees who crave constant direction, most people resent having someone look over their shoulder. The practice can actually become counterproductive and reduce instead of elevate performance.

But managers can’t just be hands-off and hope for the best. This article describes how leaders can build a self-driven staff and why creating a culture where people take ownership of their work ignites engagement, agility, and innovation.

9. The Pleasant Trap: Why Companies with Nice Work Cultures Finish Last

Leaders understand that toxic workplace culture can torpedo their company’s success. Many try to instill a code of conduct to prevent destructive behaviors from taking hold. But a nice culture can make it harder to hold honest conversations and repress healthy debates that could lead to systematic improvements. It can even stir resentment if people feel like they’re working in an inauthentic environment.

This article covers how leaders can cultivate a supportive culture that helps employees and the organization to grow and improve instead of merely aiming for a pleasant atmosphere.

10. Productivity is Declining: What CEOs Can Do to Reverse the Trend

Studies show that the US labor force is in a historic productivity slump, which is not only bad for business but the economy as a whole. The data reveals that weak employee engagement contributes significantly to the lack of effort people put into their jobs. One expert observed, “Employees seem to be following a pattern of professional detachment.”

We examine the reasons behind this trend and the steps leaders can take to turn things around for their onsite and remote teams.