E359 - The importance of aspirational culture for employee engagement and organizational success | with Kevin Eikenberry - Jeff Mendelson | Automation Superhero

E359 – The importance of aspirational culture for employee engagement and organizational success | with Kevin Eikenberry

Kevin Eikenberry is the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group. With over 30 years of experience, Kevin has dedicated his career to helping organizations and leaders from over 50 countries become more effective. As a testament to his expertise, Kevin has been recognized by Global Gurus as one of the most influential thinkers on leadership for the last two years. He is also a bestselling author, with books such as Remarkable Leadership, From Bud to Boss, The Long-Distance Leader, The Long-Distance Teammate, and his newest release, The Long-Distance Team. Throughout his career, Kevin has worked with a diverse range of organizations, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, and has developed a reputation as a trusted advisor, coach, and consultant. He is known for his practical, actionable insights, and his ability to help leaders create positive change in their organizations.

According to Kevin, fostering a team and team culture is challenging, especially in a remote working environment. Organizational culture exists regardless of the physical location of team members, and Kevin believes there are three cultures to consider: pre-pandemic, current, and aspirational. While all three matter, the aspirational culture that the team desires for the future is the most important as it provides an opportunity to shape the team’s culture intentionally.

To create an aspirational culture, Kevin suggests bringing the team together collaboratively, using processes to identify what they want the culture to be like. This approach works best for teams of around 15 people, but larger teams can also participate. Leaders must engage everyone in the culture’s creation to ensure commitment to it. He also notes that there is a macro culture in every organization, but each team has its microculture. The more ownership the team has of the aspirational culture, the more committed they will be to achieving it.

Collaborative work can be done both synchronously and asynchronously. Tools such as Zoom and Slack can be used for synchronous collaboration, while asynchronous collaboration can be done by raising questions and discussing them in a way that allows people in different time zones to participate. While synchronous collaboration may be necessary for some parts of the conversation, physical location is not a barrier to successful collaboration.

Creating an aspirational culture can lead to improved retention, productivity, collaboration, and quality of relationships. It can also make it easier to attract new talent, increase employee engagement, and lead to a higher commitment from team members. When Kevin has helped other companies implement aspirational cultures, he has seen amazing results. His insights and practical recommendations make him a trusted advisor to organizations of all sizes, helping them create positive change and achieve success. 

Greater levels of employee engagement can be achieved when leaders engage their team members in important decisions because it creates a sense of ownership and commitment to the organization’s goals and values. When employees feel that they have a say in the direction of the company and that their opinions are valued, they are more likely to feel invested in their work and stay with the organization. Involving their team members in the process of defining the team’s culture that the team desires for the future is the most important because it provides an opportunity to shape the team’s culture intentionally. Leaders can facilitate collaborative discussions and use processes to identify what the team wants the culture to be like. 

Leaders can also engage their team members by showing them how their work makes a difference as well as understanding the impact of their work by providing regular feedback, setting clear goals and expectations, and recognizing and rewarding their contributions. When employees understand how their work contributes to the organization’s goals, they are more likely to feel connected to the organization and be motivated to work harder.

In this episode:

[02:00] Building a team culture requires effort, especially in remote working environments.

  • Remote teams need to be treated as such, regardless of how close they are.
  • There are three cultures to be aware of: the pre-pandemic culture, the current culture, and the future culture.

[05:00] Creating an aspirational culture is to collaborate with your team.

  • Having the opportunity to shape the culture to your desired outcome.
  • Defining the culture you want to create is important not solely based on your feelings.

[08:00] Asynchronous communication tools can be used to create an aspirational culture. 

  • How teams in different time zones can engage with everyone who is part of that culture.
  • Each team and leader has a microculture that can differ slightly from the overall culture.

[11:00] Improving talent retention and attracting new talent to the organization.

  • Higher levels of employee engagement and productivity can be achieved.
  • Quality of relationships and collaboration is likely to improve when working towards a shared North star.

[14:00] How people can learn about Kevin’s company’s products and services.

  • Information about his YouTube channel and LinkedIn profile.
  • His book, The Long Distance Team delves deeper into creating an aspirational culture. 

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