How to Upskill Your Culture Strategy

At Work


Liz Sheldon

It won’t shock you to learn there’s a massive increase in employee feelings of isolation since hybrid work has become prevalent—but a recent poll suggests that a staggering 70% of workers feel disengaged from their day-to-day roles.

To help people leaders understand how to re-engage teams via smart investments in company culture, New Stand CEO David Garcia hosted a recent webinar on how to take your culture strategy to the next level. Here, part one of the top takeaways:

Focus on Everyday Engagement

The universally accepted view of the employee lifespan is a milestone-based journey, where accumulated experiences determine whether or not an employee stays at a company. But when you design a milestone-only based journey, the moments are often irregular, inconsistent, and lack context.

Instead, think about a model that reflects how people actually experience work. Everyday experiences create a baseline of satisfaction that influences those more notable moments. Not everyone feels the same about onboarding or performance reviews or happy hours. What's critical for each employee differs from person to person.

How to improve someone's emotional state and drive deeper engagement: Care for the whole person every day.

Build Social Connection Remotely

Let’s take an example: Automatic is a remote-first team well-known for building connections within a globally distributed workforce. How? Structured socialization. Once a year, for instance, everyone gathers for an epic company offsite, in a single location, to share experiences together. But more importantly they focus on day-to-day social communication.

First, there are interest-based Slack channels. Second, employees can log into “open coworking calls” while working to mimic in-person serendipity. Third are randomized pair-off meetings, where two employees from different teams are paired together for social time. They also hold employee-led social calls around everything from adult coloring to DJ dance parties, and show-and-tell with employees’ kids.

Account for Downtime—and Optimize It

Another example: Brookfield Asset Management is an in-person team. They're the world's largest owner of commercial real estate, so presence is really important for them, and they excel at creating healthy downtime. It’s proven that intentional breaks increase productivity, creativity, and help people cycle between different work modes.

Brookfield has dedicated up to 40% of its office floor plans to social space for interaction. New Stand also helps them provide structured, semi-monthly programming—food and drink tastings, team building events, company celebrations where you can meet colleagues—situations where people can have fun and engage in a light way.

Employees are happier when they're connected to each other, and Brookfield reaps the benefits of a team that isn't burned out—win-win.

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