Why a Winning Workplace Culture Should Be One Of Your Top Goals for 2020 & Beyond
Excerpts from a conversation with Author and Leadership Expert Dr. Shirley Davis on building a winning, welcoming and inclusive workplace culture.
With 2020 here, there’s no time like the present to establish new goals (or to revisit past goals) that can positively impact your business from the inside out. Try focusing on achievable goals that will support an inclusive, collaborative workplace culture of which you can be proud. A winning workplace culture starts at the top – beginning with an engaging leadership team, focused on common goals that support your company’s values, and resulting in an environment in which your employees can thrive.
At Deltek, our goal is to create an authentic environment for our team members that embodies our nine corporate values, including collaboration, curiosity and innovation. It’s important to us that every employee understands that they will be treated with respect, inclusivity and appreciation, and that they have opportunities to pursue their professional interests and grow their careers.
On our path toward building a positive workplace culture, we sat down with author and leadership expert Dr. Shirley Davis to discuss what leaders can do within their own organizations to foster a positive environment. To help you get started with setting your culture goals, consider incorporating some of her valuable recommendations.
Here are a few key takeaways from our conversation:
Q: How would you define workplace culture and what kind of impact can it have on an organization?
Dr. Davis: Workplace culture is the unique character and personality of a company; it is the sum total of your company’s values, beliefs, attitudes, norms and behaviors.
It is how people view and experience your organization both internally and externally - based on your culture, you will either attract top talent or not. A winning or effective workplace culture will help increase productivity and performance, fuel innovation and creativity, which ultimately leads to satisfied and engaged employees who provide great service to their customers.
Q: What is the best way for leaders to reinforce the culture they have within their organization?
Dr. Davis: Leaders are the drivers and the reasons behind why workplace culture exists and what they are made of. They reinforce and model behaviors - by walking the walk and talking the talk - they demonstrate respect and authenticity. By being mindful of their behaviors, leaders can reinforce workplace culture through consistent actions and affirm their trust within the organization.
Q: What influence can inclusion have on an organization when executed properly?
Dr. Davis: Inclusion is critical when it comes to building a winning culture – it can be the life or death of an organization. With so many different backgrounds and experiences, it is vital for leadership to recognize contributions from across the organization. Employees need to feel like they are valued and that their voices are heard. It is so important to make everyone feel like they are a valuable part of the organization and a key contributor to the company’s success – regardless of their role or tenure.
Q: What steps can leaders take to successfully develop their own high-performing cultures?
Dr. Davis: The findings, from a Bain & Company study with more than 400 executives, on culture showed that only 10% of companies actually succeeded in developing a high-performing culture.
From what I’ve seen in my experiences, this is because it takes a lot of time – leaders are juggling a number of priorities and they don’t always make the time needed for the change. In general, people don’t like change – which is why leaders need to let employees see what the impact is on them and the benefit of that change in order to see the value.
When you implement culture change you need a good culture strategy, with a trusting and collaborative leadership team to help support it. Otherwise, culture will eat strategy for lunch, no matter how good your strategy is.
Q: With workforce demographics continuously changing, what advice would you give leaders to positively differentiate their organization?
Dr. Davis: Today more than ever, it is important to recognize that the global workforce will continue to shift. With more women entering the workforce, the diversity of cultures and thought and the varied backgrounds of our employees, as well as the reality of five generations working alongside each other, leaders have become the critical engine behind the experience that people will have inside their organization.
We need to encourage leaders to walk the talk, live the values and take the time they need to upskill and reskill. By identifying new competencies, skill sets, attitudes and even mindsets as to how they lead across differences will become the differentiator of an organization and how their leaders treat their people and help them lead. How leaders set the tone and atmosphere is what gets the best work out of their organization.
Deltek's Workplace Culture
Deltek is committed to creating a workplace our employees can be proud of. Learn more about our winning workplace culture and how we are creating a balanced, employee-focused and customer-focused workplace driven by collaboration, innovation and authenticity. Visit and follow our and social handles to get the latest on #DeltekProjectNation.
About the Author
Dr. Shirley Davis brings a unique background as a seasoned HR and Diversity & Inclusion global thought leader, a senior executive, a certified leadership coach, and a former Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for several major Fortune 100 companies. Connect with Dr. Davis on LinkedIn.
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