WORKPLACE CULTURE: personifying the human voice through EC and EI
Culture, a perceived-to-be, disguisable, in-the-moment, trendy buzzword, infiltrates the small business, organizational and corporate space. This word often saturates titles and headlines of articles having little to do with diction and more to do with human experience, whether that be good or bad. Truth be told, culture-a multifaceted, dynamic way of being and embracing life- moves beyond trends and into the root of all behaviors, beliefs, systems, and symbols. The root of such cultural attributes is established, cultivated, and embraced by the human species and without such human involvement, culture would fail to exist.
Every organization and business has a culture, whether that be intentional or not. However, cultures organized by default unknowingly create less than optimal outcomes versus cultures that have been intentionally molded and crafted through human relations, experience, and feedback. Defaulted cultures open up gateways to misaligned visions, core values, and company missions. This, in turn, can put the company or organization at greater risk for high turnover, low engagement and productivity, and higher financial expenditures. In a misaligned culture, human capital management can easily fall to the waste side. On the contrary, intentional business or organizational cultures create a versatility that allows for adaptation and embrace of a constantly evolving workforce with diverse generational needs, abilities, and expectations. This flexibility supports the essential, organization-specific cultural alterations that must take place to maintain relevance and a thriving business model. In doing so, any misinterpretation or delusion associated with the company’s core values, mission and vision would be eradicated.
So, how can we introduce flexible and adaptable cultures into the workplace without losing sight of a company’s foundational and potent core values, vision and mission? Your answer lies in employee centricity and emotional intelligence:
Employee Centricity: Amidst the deluge of big data and statistics lies one of the most essential and indispensable components of any given industry, corporation, business, company, or organization. It is here, beyond data sets and numbers, that diversity is cultivated, culture is molded, and strategic growth is architecturally sewn into the constructs of such an entity. This entity, so to speak, consists of the individuals adopting a workplace of success, fostering an environment of growth, and stimulating a culture of erudition. Collectively, these individuals build the integral cornerstone of any business and, therefore, also provide the necessary feedback to build a successful organization. From impersonal flare to meaningful conversation, the benefit and success of workplace well-being programs goes far beyond the numbers and cost-savings. Rather, when constructing a culture of well-being, the people-and not the data-must come first. Opening up the communication floodgates (sans email, text, and digital media), building relationships, and engaging in significant dialogue surrounding workplace well-being is certainly not something to shy away from. The lack and absence of open communication and dialogue between employee-employee and employee-employer can hinder the long-term desired outcomes of such well-being design and implementation. An uptake in conversation about workplace well-being without intrusion and disguise from an arithmetic mean can mold an even stronger culture of health promotion and sustainability.
Emotional Intelligence: When refining and leveraging components of emotional intelligence (EI), we have an ability to not only recognize and manage our own emotions but also develop the receptiveness to other people’s emotions as well. Emotional intelligence is a critical component to relationship development and growth, understanding pain points and addressing them with viable solutions, and business prosperity. Although developing an ability towards emotional intelligence can take some time, there are 5 components of emotional intelligence that develop and strengthen our bond and association to internal and external emotions. These components, as developed by psychologist Dr. Daniel Goleman, are as follows:
- Self-awareness: the ability to understand personal moods as well as their effect on others
- Self-regulation: the ability to control disruptive impulses and actions
- Motivation: an internal drive and passion for work that extends beyond money and status
- Empathy: ability to understand the emotions of others and react according to those emotions
- Social Skills: an ability to build rapport and networks with a proficiency in managing relationships
Developing any of the aforementioned abilities and skills requires an implementation of various strategies and solutions to help one boost emotional sensitivity and awareness. Although a diverse number of strategies exist to build your emotional intelligence, practicing attentiveness and mindfulness to your current situation and the situation and body language of others is quite beneficial. Likewise, maintaining a calm demeanor and positive attitude during times of duress and difficulty will leverage your ability to nurture and augment proficiencies involving emotional intelligence.
Culture is quite strong when compared to your morning coffee wakeup call. However, culture is strongest when developed collaboratively with employee-centric feedback and solutions and emotional intelligence radar. It is my hope that businesses and organizations shift into an intentional people-centric, human-driven culture that embraces the qualitative feedback, power and potency of the human voice.
Best in health,
Colleen M. Faltus, MS, CWWS, CPT
Founding President and CEO
Healthy Fusions, LLC
Goleman, D. (2006). Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships . Random House Publishing Group .
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Colleen M. Faltus
With a passion and enthusiasm for workplace well-being and lifestyle medicine, I founded my own company, Healthy Fusions, an interdisciplinary workplace well-being company based in Boston, MA. As the President and CEO of Healthy Fusions, I am advocate of the power self-care, prevention, and lifestyle medicine has on adding years to life and life to years.
I earned my BS degree in Applied Exercise Science from Springfield College (2008) and MS degree in Nutrition and Health Promotion at Simmons College (2015). I currently hold certifications through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and National Wellness Institute (NWI) as a certified personal trainer and worksite wellness specialist. Additionally, I am a member of the Worksite Wellness Council of MA as well as an active committee member for their annual conference.
Colleen has experience writing, speaking, and developing health and well-being programs for both commercial clients at Sports Club LA and Equinox as well as corporate clients including Google and State Street Corporation. My knowledge and expertise in the development and implementation of individual and population-based health and well-being programs embodies the significance of lifestyle medicine solutions for sustainable, positive health outcomes.
Specialties: organizational health and well-being program planning and implementation, lifestyle medicine practices and solutions, disease and stress-management, individual and population-based exercise prescriptions