Culture of Caring
After a recent blog garnered great interest, the LEADon® team decided to dive a little deeper into the ‘culture of caring’ theme which resonated with so many readers. Indeed, due to the tumultuous events of 2020-21, caring for one another seems an appropriate topic for families to consider, including members of a Corporate Family®. After all, care is fundamental to good health, and everyone involved in your organization can benefit by being part of a kinder, more considerate culture.
What does a culture of caring actually entail? According to Adam Fridman’s December 2016 article “5 Ways to Build a Culture of Caring,” this crucial aspect of corporate culture includes “leaders caring about employees, employees caring for each other and for customers, and everyone in the company caring about the company’s purpose” (to read more, go to https://www.inc.com/adam-fridman/5-ways-to-build-a-culture-of-caring.html). At LEADon, we couldn’t agree more, especially with Fridman’s emphasis on this type of culture originating in the C-suite. Exceptional leaders must set the benchmarks for any effective initiative, and then they must cascade those benchmarks throughout the entire organization to positively impact team members and valued clientele.
Daniel Lubetzky, founder and Executive Chairman of the aptly named KIND® organization, exemplifies the intentional leadership needed to cultivate a caring culture that will profoundly impact people as well as profits. In fact, in Lubetzky’s corporate bio we discover his mission is “to make the world a little kinder one snack and one act at a time.” As the son of a Holocaust survivor, Lubetzky has dedicated his life to creating an inspirational Corporate Family® while simultaneously improving individuals and communities. This purveyor of kindness cascades a culture of caring all the way to potential new hires, letting everyone know that KIND® team members must “aspire to live our values and make the world a little kinder every day” (discover more at www.kindsnacks.com).
With all that is needed to make a business successful today, some leaders question whether a culture of caring is worth the investment. How can increasing your team members’ ability to be concerned about one another, clients, and company goals positively impact the bottom line? And as some leaders have pointedly asked the LEADon® team, “How can we justify spending time and energy on an aspect of corporate culture that seems so intangible?”
Perhaps Jeff Bevis’ 2019 Forbes article provides the best answer to this query: “While the benefits of a culture of care don’t fit neatly on a P&L statement, they are real. A great company culture leads to better employee retention and lower onboarding costs. It gives employees a sense of pride in their work, and it’s a great differentiator in your market” (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbevis/2019/12/23/5-ways-to-create-a-culture-of-care-in-your-business/). In other words, when you and your leadership team make caring a priority, your employees will not only feel good about their work, but they’ll also be more likely to remain part of your Corporate Family®. This kind of intangible “happiness” actually encourages numerous tangible results, since research has revealed “when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves” (find more of Shawn Anchor’s 2012 Harvard Business Review article entitled “Positive Intelligence” at https://hbr.org/2012/01/positive-intelligence).
What’s the greatest take-away from these findings? The more caring your corporate culture is, the more employees will care about your company. Fortunately, there are some fairly straightforward actions that will ensure this kind of caring permeates your Corporate Family’s® culture:
- Care about caring. You and your leadership team must be aligned and attuned when it comes to the importance of cultivating a caring culture in your Corporate Family. The LEADon team recommends that you utilize our four-step CARE process. To do so, everyone in your organization must be:
- Considerate of others’ thoughts and feelings
- Available to assist when/where needed
- Respectful in every interpersonal interaction
- Empathetic when other’s struggle and need your support
- Invest in the lives of the ‘Next Level Leaders’. At LEADon®, we have witnessed the powerful transformation that can occur in Corporate Family® culture when leaders take an active role in mentoring those who may be in charge of their organization in the future. Intentional effort to equip these up-and-coming leaders is vital, especially helping them understand how to develop and maintain a culture of caring too. As Adam Fridman suggests, those in leadership must provide “the tools to be successful and an environment where employees feel empowered to take action that helps the company, community, or world.”
- Celebrate Successes: Since its inception, LEADon® has stressed the importance of celebrating Corporate Family® successes. This is demonstrated through an organization’s Culture of Appreciation, which includes leaders offering personal gratitude, written words of thanks, and public praise (see Chapter 7 of Wilke & Wilke’s book The LEADing Edge: 9 Strategies for Improving Internal and Intentional Leadership for more ideas). Our online course, LEADing with a Culture of Appreciation® also details numerous ways leaders can celebrate individual and team successes, like highlighting professional achievements (project completion, latest contract, etc.) or personal milestones (birthday, anniversary, new family member, etc.) at team meetings or Corporate Family® events (please go to www.LEADonUniversity.com to find this and other online leadership courses).
Still uncertain about the value of creating a culture of caring in your Corporate Family? Perhaps some insight from billionaire, businessman, and philanthropist Daniel Lubetzky might provide further inspiration: “Empathy is one of our greatest tools of business that is most underused.” Lubetzky intentionally implemented this essential tool in his Corporate Family® and, because of those efforts, has created an organismal dynasty with global impact.
In the days ahead, we encourage you to take a closer look at the needs of your Corporate Family members and customers. Many employees are clamoring for a more caring environment in which to invest their time, energy, and effort. Today’s clientele value and are loyal to companies that demonstrate a caring culture (see The LEADing Blog “Improving Customer Connections” by clicking here). This kind of reflection might also reveal that a culture of caring could be the differentiator in your leadership and legacy too.
If you have specific questions about improving your Corporate Family’s culture, please contact us at 858.592.0700 or www.LEADonUniversity.com. A member of the LEADon team will be happy to connect with you to discuss this or any other leadership needs