In speaking with a number of business leaders, there seems to be a common theme: with the challenges of the hybrid work environment and mental health, leaders are concerned about protecting their culture with a focus on improving engagement and well-being.
We, as business leaders, have an opportunity to create a compelling culture for our organizations – one that is inspiring, offers a sense of community, engagement, and pride for the collective work that we do together.
As we are now well into 2023, my question to you is this: what will you do this year to drive a compelling culture where your colleagues are energized and engaged? Is there a well-being challenge that would resonate with your staff, perhaps one that would drive employee connection in this hybrid work environment? Is there a community activity that brings people together to do good for others or to advance a cause?
Be vulnerable & make an impact
Last summer, as a newcomer to Dialogue, I invited my colleagues to participate in a Dragon Boat Race for Cedars CanSupport, a foundation near and dear to my heart. The intention of the race is to raise funds for the foundation, which then provides free supportive care to cancer patients that are being treated at the Cedars Cancer Centre (MUHC). This includes important psychological, emotional, and financial support.
During a bi-weekly company update, I opened up to the entire company and shared my experience at Cedars and why this initiative mattered so much to me. It was a vulnerable moment indeed! I was not certain that there would be a big uptake, but to my delight, the support for this initiative was overwhelming. We were able to quickly fill the boat with paddlers, we named our boat “All Up Dialogue”, raised over $22,000 and had a great deal of fun!
Supporting our community & each other
The impact of paddling on this beautiful day in September was multiple. This event was not only a success from the contribution perspective. It helped to build upon the already amazing culture at Dialogue, created a sense of belonging across different groups, and supported our overall mission “To help people improve their well-being”.
Great mental health starts with leaders that are willing to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is 10x more impactful than it is scary (I don’t have stats to back that up, but experience!). Don’t be afraid to open up, your team will appreciate it.
I am not sharing this experience to get kudos on the event itself, but to encourage business leaders to choose an initiative that will help solidify your culture and improve engagement. One that supports your corporate mission, creates a sense of community and brings your teams together.
A great corporate culture is one of the few sustainable competitive advantages that an organization has, and a good one can lead to a healthy, happy, and engaged workforce.
So, what are some initiatives that you’ve done in the past (or ideas you plan to do this year) to drive a great culture of engagement and well-being?
If you’re interested in learning about other ways to foster a culture of well-being, here’s a great article from my colleague Sylvain Beauséjour.