Today is International Women’s Day.
This year, in particular, this day deserves attention. With Weinstein-gate, the #MeToo movement, and companies getting publicly called out for sexism and harassment, the past 12 months have shown that gender bias and workplace inequality issues can no longer be ignored. Companies large and small are asking themselves what they need to do to create more female-friendly company cultures.
The answer: start from the top.
Our own CEO, Autumn Manning, was recently quoted in Bloomberg News on the fact that the South by Southwest Conference has more than 50 panels discussing gender discrimination and sexism this year — including a women’s leadership panel that she is participating in. “This highlights the fact that companies and leadership are prioritizing culture in a way they have not in the past,” Manning said. “A big part of the panel is de-mystifying the definition of culture and making sure people walk away understanding that a company’s values, transparency and behavior 100 percent starts at the top with executive leadership.”
Our own research backs this up. Our recent research report, The Employee Experience Optimized, shows that when senior leadership is living out clearly communicated core values — 91% of surveyed employees reported that they had a good to excellent employee experience.
Why does a great employee experience matter? Because the quality of the employee experience has a direct tie to the inclusiveness in company culture.
Embedding Inclusiveness Into Company Culture
Gallup has found that the two key engagement attributes that lead to feelings of inclusion are: my company “seems to care about me as a person” and “my opinions seem to count” at my company.
Google found similar results in its Project Aristotle research. This 2-year study found that the single characteristic of high-performing teams was psychological safety – the ability to have your opinions heard and counted.
These aspects tie directly to the four pillars of the Employee Experience:
- Connection to managers and coworkers
- Knowing your work has an impact
- Finding meaning in your work
- Knowing that your work is noticed and appreciated
In other words: a leadership focus on providing a great employee experience for EVERY employee creates a more inclusive culture.
Making changes at your company may require taking a look at implicit bias, training managers on psychological safety, and reimagining work/life balance. For ideas on how to implement steps in the right direction, see our research report: the Employee Experience Optimized.
Kazoo is the employee experience platform powered by the science of motivation and the mission of improving the lives of employees everywhere, one company at a time. Founded in 2013, Kazoo grows company culture and improves bottom-line performance metrics through its robust engagement platform that delivers recognition, rewards, incentives, and team insights. Named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Best Company Cultures in 2017, the Austin-based SaaS company and its technology platform are built on the four pillars of employee experience: connection, meaning, impact, and appreciation. To request a demo, visit info.kazoohr.com/demo-request.