What employees get from company culture workshop

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In the early stages of a company, it is impossible to establish a culture for your employees to follow. The culture naturally takes shape as your employees join. However, managers have a responsibility to enforce the culture once it is engrained in the workplace.

[[{"fid":"12403","view_mode":"large_image","fields":{"format":"large_image","field_image_accreditation[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"company culture"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large_image","field_image_accreditation[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"company culture"}},"attributes":{"alt":"company culture","style":"float: left; margin: 5px;","class":"media-element file-large-image","data-delta":"1"}}]]Company culture workshops can be excellent for cultivating them. They are typically used with newer employees. However, senior employees should not be excluded from them. They can learn a lot about the culture that they may have overlooked, especially if the culture has evolved since they were first onboarded.

Here are some reasons you should encourage or even mandate all employees to participate in company culture workshops, regardless of seniority.

Addressing Toxic Behavior in the Workforce

According to recent workplace survey, nearly a third of all employees feel their workplace is toxic. These problems are often caused by older, senior employees for several reasons:

  • The company culture evolves over time. Senior employees may not realize that newer employees aren’t as comfortable with certain behavior that was acceptable when they first joined the team.
  • Senior staff are often disconnected from employees at lower echelons of the organization. They may unintentionally develop a sense of hubris or lack of sympathy, which can damage morale among less senior workers.
  • Senior employees tend to be older. This can create a division between older and younger employees, because they come from different generations with different social views. The workplace attitudes they grew accustomed to while they were younger may no longer be tolerated by their younger counterparts.

Company culture workshops can be great ways to bring these issues to everyone’s attention. Without singling anyone out, you can help senior employees realize how they have unintentionally created a toxic workplace and identify ways to resolve the issue. Senior employees will have an easier time empathizing with their subordinates after participating in team building exercises, since they will have a chance to see their perspectives and the changes they need to make.

Providing Encouragement to Lower-level Employees

Company culture workshops also provide an opportunity for senior employees to contribute in more positive ways. They can offer encouragement to front-line employees and help them see the benefits they provide to the organization as a whole. Emma Seppala, the science director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, wrote a post about TLEX for the Harvard Business Review, documenting a company culture workshop where senior staff offered input to newer hires. These workshops are an opportunity for employees at all levels to connect and develop a more positive outlook.

“The two-day TLEX retreat in upstate New York started with an exercise where 18 of Gagnon’s leaders split into groups to define “what is leadership.” After collating the results, the group realized that 95% of all attributes referred to “soft,” not “hard” skills. Gagnon reports that this staff was pleased to hear that for 2-days, soft skills is exactly what they would be focusing on – no corporate goals, no strategy, no alignment – but mindfulness, personal mastery, connectedness and collective action.”

Other companies have started considering mandating senior staff to participate in these workshops as well, because they have noticed that they play an important role in building workplace morale.

Building Better Rapport Between Staff at Different Levels

One Fortune 500 employee I spoke with felt that there is a clear disconnect between higher and lower level employees. “It reminds me of my time in the military, when officers and enlisted soldiers were discouraged from socializing together. There was no hostility or disrespect, but it didn’t do much for bonding.”

Company culture workshops are a great place for employees at different levels of the organization to bond. They will form deeper relationships and generate more trust, which will help harmonize the workplace.

Senior Employees Have a Lot to Offer at Company Culture Workshops

Company culture workshops tend to focus too much on onboarding new employees. They should actually be open to all staff, because senior level employees can also benefit from the messages they have to offer. These workshops also help build stronger relationships between supervisors and their subordinates.

Image: Shutterstock

About Sam Stauff

sam

Sam is a passionate writer and blogger. He loves to cover HR/Technology related stuff on popular platforms.

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