Tag Archive for: corporate culture

Work Life Integration

Did you know that 60% of Americans say they struggle to keep a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives? But maybe it’s the word “balance” that creates the problem in the first place…

The term ‘work-life integration’ has trumped the traditional concept of ‘work-life balance’ as of late. But what is work-life integration? And why is work-life integration the new-work life balance? (See what we did there? It’s like Orange Is the New Black but with an HR twist!)

Let’s discuss.

What is Work-Life Balance?

Work-life balance, we’ve all heard of it. But what is it?

Work-life balance, according to HR Zone, “refers to the level of prioritization between personal and professional activities in an individual’s life and the level to which activities related to their job are present in the home.”

Typically, in work-life balance, both are equally prioritized. There is a clear distinction between the two with clearly designated “work hours” vs. non-work hours.

In short, when discussing work-life balance, work and life coexist separately.

What is Work-Life Integration?

Work-life integration, on the other hand, is a newly coined term. Work-life integration takes away the “balancing” aspect and instead focuses on integrating the various needs of your daily life.

As the term implies, work-life integration is about integrating work and life together; bringing them closer. There are many ways to do this, but more on that later.

Atlassian explains work-life integration quite well. “Professionals practicing work-life integration care less about what’s ‘work time’ and what’s ‘personal time.’” Instead, they ask themselves, “What’s the best time to do this thing?”

This looks different for each person. For some employees, it might mean working later in the day or night so they can attend a personal event or commitment in the morning.

Work-life integration, unlike work-life balance, “sees every activity in your day as part of a whole.” It’s focused less on compartmentalizing, where parts of your days are broken into ‘buckets’ of sorts.

How Did Life-Work Integration Come About?

We all know that after two years amid a global pandemic, the workspace looks wildly different than it used to. Now more than ever, employees desire flexibility.

In fact, research shows that in the second half of 2021, over 20 million people left their jobs, likely due to a lack of flexibility. The Great Resignation is a phenomenon that we are seeing across the U.S.

According to Fortune, however, it goes beyond people just quitting their jobs. People are rethinking what they want out of life and are challenging the idea of ‘workism’: “the idea that we’re defined primarily by our work, and everything else—i.e. life—must fit into the increasingly small space that is left.”

Work-life integration is one of the answers to preventing The Great Resignation in your business.

Why Do You Need Work-Life Integration?

If the answer isn’t already clear—whether you’re a business owner or an employee—you should consider adopting work-life integration.

Embracing the flexibility that comes with work-life integration lets individuals coordinate their own schedules, which in turn, increases satisfaction in all areas of their lives. Oppositely, research shows that boundary violations result in negative consequences.

As Kaitlin Milliken, multimedia editor of Innovation Leader puts it: “Tailoring an employee’s work situation to their work style and personal situation can help create a productive, balanced work environment… Some thrive in an office setting daily and others are just as efficient working at home some or all of the time.”

“An employee’s personal life does not need to be something that competes with work,” says Milliken. “Enabling people to tend to other parts of their life can help them avoid burnout.

How You Can Promote Work-Life Integration in Your Workplace?

So, how can you achieve this? Although the list is much longer than what we provide below, there is one key way that you can promote work-life integration in your workplace.

Understand what your employees need to create ideal work and life environments!

This considered, here are some examples of what supporting work-life integration might look like in your business:

  • Flexible telecommuting arrangements or childcare
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Regularly reviewing workloads
  • Focusing on productivity rather than hours
  • Acknowledging that every employee is (and works) different

Read on to learn the best ways to keep employees engaged and excited about work.

How to Incorporate Company Culture into your ‘Corporate Gift Giving’

Let’s be real: Gift receiving is everyone’s love language.

It’s the Holiday Season!

The Holiday season is just around the corner! As a company, you don’t want to wait until the last minute to figure out your corporate gift-giving plan.

It’s important to understand that there is a way to incorporate your company culture into corporate gift giving (yes, gifts for employees and clients!) Corporate gifting is a great way to continue connecting with your employees and clients during a busy season to show that you care, value your partnership, and are thinking of them.

In the past, companies might have missed the mark with cheesy mousepads, so let’s step it up! This doesn’t mean your gift has to be expensive. All it takes is some thought and planning.

The Psychology of Gift-Giving

Let’s first chat a little bit about the psychology behind giving and receiving gifts. There are many benefits to corporate gift giving—tangible and psychological.

Picture this: you’re a stressed employee around the holiday season. Work has piled up and there are personal distractions causing more stress than usual (family dynamics are SO fun during the holidays, right?)

Then, you receive an unexpected gift from your boss. Odds are, your day will move forward a lot more positively because of the gift, and more importantly, because it’s an act of appreciation.

From Boss to Staff

One primary way that corporate giving is incorporated is from a boss to an employee. While most companies do include holiday bonuses, there are a few other tokens of appreciation that can help you align company culture and corporate giving.

Again, don’t miss the mark with a mousepad with your company logo on it… Gifts like these come off as a last-minute thought and don’t show true appreciation.

A more thoughtful suggestion is a leatherbound notebook. A notebook can be used for planning work or as a personal writing tool. Either way, if your company focuses on the continued education of employees, this is a great way to show that their mental health is also important to the company.

If you’re unsure about what to give, try and listen to office chatter, hear what they might need or want. It could be something as simple as their favorite bottle of wine or chocolate!

Another great idea: If your company has a favorite place around the corner to get lunch, a gift card is a great, practical gift.

Gifting to Clients

Sending gifts to your clientele is a different story. You might not know them on a personal level like an employee, but don’t fret—there are still ways to show your appreciation.

One thing to avoid is sending tacky merch with your company logo. They already hired you, you don’t need to try and sell them anything.

Perhaps a personalized bottle of wine, fancy cheese, or something else that is specific to your expertise? Gifting something useful is a win. Because let’s be honest, how many branded stress balls have you received, that you still use or even have? Our guess is none.

Another idea is to add personalized touches to client gifts. For example, if you opt for the wine bottle, a wine opener with your client’s logo or name on it would show that extra level of effort and appreciation.

Company Culture

The act of corporate gifting can also provide the opportunity for team bonding. Worried about having boring team bonding exercises? Learn five team bonding exercises that don’t suck, here on our blog

One example of a bonding exercise that doesn’t suck is a ‘white elephant’ event with a set price limit. This brings the office together for a laugh and takes away the pressure of getting gifts for multiple coworkers.

Can Company Culture Change?

Company culture is one of the most talked-about topics for business owners and human resource professionals. Your organization’s culture can make or break your business. Many companies are now realizing their culture needs to reflect their company’s values in order to attract and retain the best employees and see long-term success.

Signs Your Corporate Culture is a Liability

The importance of company culture is not always explicitly stated. Some believe that the importance of corporate culture can only be stated anecdotally. However, there is plenty of evidence in support of companies investing in bettering their culture. 

In a study performed by Harvard Business School Professor, John Kotter, he concluded that “organizations with rich, healthy cultures achieved net income growth of 756%, versus a mere one percent for those with less-defined cultures.” Watson Wyatt also performed research to develop the Human Capital Index and found that companies with superior scores of five key people practices had a 30% higher market value than other organizations. 

How Culture Can F*ck Up Your Merger

Are you preparing your business for a merger or acquisition? While it is essential to get your financials and your business plan in order, it is also important to ensure your company culture is optimized. According to the study “Corporate Culture: Evidence from the Field” 91% of executives said they believed improving company culture would increase their company’s valuation. Here’s why.

photo of women having conversation

Attract ENGAGE Retain. 

An engaged workforce is a productive workforce. 

But you can’t force someone to be engaged. 

Once you’ve got a candidate through the hiring, onboarding and training process, you really want to retain them.  But what about two years in, five years in.  What do you do as a company to re-engage and thereby retain your staff?

People are engaged when they feel they make a difference.  People are engaged when they feel appreciated.  People are engaged when they feel a sense of purpose.  People are engaged when they feel aligned with the company’s values.

group of people facing the blackboard

California is often the trailblazer in legislation.  In the case of the #metoo movement, there are a series of laws that were passed in January 2020 to address sexual harassment, whistleblowing, and a lack of women in leadership roles. 

While there is always room for improvement, we think the following legislation is worth revisiting.  As an employer it is your responsibility to not only do the cursory harassment prevention training but to create a company culture that supports honesty and respect and rewards whistleblowing for those who see culture parasites destroying the goodwill you spend months and years building up.  

4 Quick Tips to Engaging a Remote Workforce as a Leader

Having trouble engaging your remote workforce? Here are 4 quick tips to engage a remote workforce as a leader. 

a laptop and a cup of tea

In recent weeks, employee productivity seems to now be focused on RESULTS, instead of just merely ATTENDANCE.

How can your teams stay productive throughout this global pandemic? Here are our 10 tips for working from home productively! 

#1: Create a workspace that fits your needs- Ideally a spot that is ergonomically safe, quiet, sunny, and holds a strong WiFi connection.

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As we’ve all seen in the past few weeks, the information reported on Coronavirus is rapidly evolving. We’ve compiled a list of our team’s top 5 most-utilized Coronavirus resource links here for you. Please let us know if our Culture Works team can support you in any way through this global pandemic and we are happy to help you to the best of our ability!