Who owns culture and engagement in your organization? You may have a department that organizes and coordinates large scale engagement initiatives, and while those give you the opportunity to spotlight the company culture you want to promote, companies also need more than big events that are only moments in time.
Your true organizational culture shows up in the everyday interactions of your people — regardless of whether they align with the company stated values. It’s about how we collaborate and give each other feedback. It’s how we support one another in our growth and learning. It’s how we show appreciation. Culture is not event driven, it’s about the people.
So what is your role in the company culture and employee engagement? How are you showing up for the people and teams that you work with most closely? Are there things that you would love to see happen but are unsure if it’s your role to make them happen?
If you’re a people leader, it’s pretty straightforward. You have a clear role in giving feedback, coaching, celebrating successes and helping people manage through challenges. You may also have a budget to do things with and for your team like team lunches, offsites and teambuilding activities.
What if you’re an individual contributor? What’s your job when it comes to culture and engagement? If you have a great idea … Do it! Take the initiative. Don’t wait for someone to ask or tell you explicitly that it’s your job to create moments of connection and appreciation within your team.
One quick and easy way to engage your team and share appreciation for each other is by creating individual and team word clouds. One of our most basic needs as people is to be seen, known, and valued, and word clouds are a fun way to encourage this. Word clouds let team members share the positive attributes they appreciate about one another, that make for a visual that can be shared with one another or displayed in the office.
This activity is a way to be a mirror for the individuals on your team and let them know all of the important values they bring. You may see them in ways that they were not able to see themselves in. When we did this on our team, it was a great moment of affirmation and appreciation!
Erin is an Account Lead at Blue Beyond and has been consulting for profit and nonprofit organizations for more than a decade. Erin offers expertise in strategic visioning, change leadership, organizational effectiveness, and talent development. She holds a BA in Psychology and a Master’s in Dispute Resolution.