In her 2018 S.H.E. Summit panel on “Caregiving, Flexibility, & Family Policies: Valuing the Impact for Gender Equality,” Antoinette Hamilton, Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Experience at Xandr, emphasizes the importance of fostering a workplace culture that lives up to its policies and value statements.
It’s one thing to say a culture stands for certain values, but it’s another thing for the culture’s people to practice those values. But I get how hard this endeavor is. When S.H.E. Summit participating companies started asking us to help create talent learning and development experiences to help shift their culture…friends said to me “Claudia, corporate culture change is some of the hardest work there is, are you sure you want to take the business there?”
But I feel so affirmed after the work we have done and transformation we have seen that powerful learning experiences are key to shifting culture when you get the content right (people are driving by meaning); when it’s offered consistently (people run out of inspiration and need re-fueling); when managers and leaders embody inclusive behavior (role modeling and walking the talk is critical). More than ever, culture needs to match their copy because employees will call them out, or in the least, talk among each other about what doesn’t align. Eventually the authenticity of a culture will catch up with a business… because at the end of the day, people are everything.
Questions to Reflect On:
- Reflecting on your culture’s values, where can you personally step up and role model better among your peers.
- From flexibility, caregiving, health, diversity, inclusion to other culture-driving policies and programs, what can you propose to better the work environment to align with its stated values?