7 Ways to Create a Culture That’s Built to Thrive

Why it’s no longer optional… and little ways to start today

Earlier this week, I was in Florida speaking to a group of city leaders about making the shift from surviving to thriving.

On the surface, this may seem like a “soft” topic. I mean, who doesn’t want to thrive? But, can we? Is that even a realistic ambition or expectation these days? Or, is it just a luxury that we really don’t have time for right now?

Also, why should we (as leaders) care about whether our employees are thriving or not? After all, we just need them to hit their outcomes. “If they want to thrive, that’s on them.”

That’s what a leader might be tempted to say…

And that would be understandable. Because many leaders are in survival mode themselves.

But we can’t be complacent and allow survival mode to become the status quo.

Today, if you want to see your teams and organizations reach their highest potential, paying attention to whether your employees are thriving or surviving is not optional. It’s critical.

For a long time, “employee engagement” has been a key measure to determine a team’s performance. Recent surveys by Gallup tell a different story, though.

We know that engaged workers produce better outcomes. No question.

What Gallup has found, though, is that “engaged workers who are not thriving in their lives are much more vulnerable and add risk to your organization.”

For example, when compared to engaged workers who are thriving in their lives, those who not thriving report:

  • 61% higher likelihood of burnout “often or always”
  • 48% higher likelihood of daily stress
  • 66% higher likelihood of daily worry
  • double the rate of daily sadness and anger

This is why, beyond sharing a roadmap for individual team members to go “Beyond Resilience”—you might think of this as “how to stop the bleeding”—I love helping leaders create a culture that is Built to Thrive. That’s where the real magic happens.

Creating a resilient culture at work can help your organization bounce back from challenges and adversity, and continue to thrive despite changes and setbacks—because we know there is always more disruption ahead.

Once you have a culture that’s Built to Thrive, it just takes a little extra intention and effort every day to keep it growing.

If you sense that your culture is slipping into surviving rather than thriving, though, don’t be discouraged. While it may seem like a massive transformation, as always, it happens one moment at a time.

Wherever you are, here’s your assignment for today:

  • Rate how your team and/or your organization is doing on a scale of 1-10 in the following seven areas.
  • Then, identify the one area where you feel you could make a big improvement.
  • When you have it, ask yourself, how can we be 1% better in this area starting today?

Ready? Here we go:

  1. Communicate openly and honestly: Do you encourage open communication and transparency in your organization? This helps everyone to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns.
  2. Foster a growth mindset: Do you encourage a culture of continuous learning and growth? This helps your employees see challenges as opportunities for development and improvement.
  3. Build strong relationships: Do you encourage collaboration and teamwork? This helps employees build strong relationships with their colleagues.
  4. Encourage risk-taking and innovation: Do you encourage employees to think creatively and take calculated risks? This helps to create an environment that supports innovation which is necessary to find a way forward in the new world.
  5. Promote work-life balance: Do you help employees manage their work-life balance? Do you encourage them to take breaks and recharge when needed? This helps them to show up at their best at the times when you need them most.
  6. Foster a sense of purpose: Do you help your employees understand the purpose and meaning behind their work? Doing so helps them to connect with the organization’s mission and values so you are all working toward a common goal.
  7. Practice gratitude: Do you encourage a culture of gratitude, and help employees focus on the things they are grateful for in their work and personal lives? Doing so helps to provide your team members with a buffer against whatever challenges are sure to arise on any given day.

I applaud you if you’ve taken some time to assess how you’re doing and how you can improve today.

By making an intentional effort to improve in these seven areas, you can help create a more resilient culture that is better equipped to handle whatever adversity and change may lie ahead in 2023 and beyond.

Want even more help? You don’t have to do this alone.

Contact us and I’d be happy to help you assess where you are now and what steps you can take to create the thriving culture you desire in your organization.

And if you want more inspiration and guidance to help you live and lead with heart, grab my free ebook, Unstoppable, and I’ll drop a message just like this one in your inbox every week.

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