Why culture is a 'participation sport'

As Napoleon once said, a leader is a dealer in hope

Why culture is a 'participation sport'

As Napoleon once said, a leader is a dealer in hope.

And while leading your organization may not be the same as waging warfare, successful leadership will always emanate from the belief your people have in you as a figurehead.

A recent report from Gallup found that highly engaged employees, who feel connected to a company, show 21% greater profitability. What’s more, these same employee teams demonstrate 41% less absenteeism and 59% less turnover.

The message is clear. If your people don’t trust you, they won’t stick around.

HRD recently spoke to Kevin Peesker, CEO of Microsoft Canada, keynote speaker at our upcoming HR Tech Summit Toronto. He revealed his own personal leadership style and explained how culture is key to employee connectedness.

“I joined Microsoft four years into Satya Nadella’s tenure as CEO, and it was clear to me from the start that our company culture started with him and his leadership team but was viewed as coming to life through the ownership of each member of Microsoft globally,” he prefaced.

“From day one, Satya asked every employee at Microsoft to approach their work with a growth mindset. He believed that the only way we could be truly successful is to be a ‘learn-it-all’ culture instead of a ‘know-it-all’ culture.

“By doing so, he freed everyone to be curious and to tackle challenges – whether they’re solving a customer’s problem or solving global challenges like climate and accessibility – by breaking down silos and tapping into the collective wisdom of their peers. When this unleashing of human potential is aligned to a powerful mission – to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more – you have a team galvanized with shared purpose. 

“I think of enabling culture as being similar to requiring air to breathe. A core piece to the culture puzzle has been providing Microsoft employees with technology that empowers them to create and collaborate, not only across teams but across offices and time zones. At Microsoft, we’re reimagining modern workplace technology to better serve the people in it. We developed Teams as a hub for teamwork that brings together conversations, meetings, files and apps into a single app so everyone on the team has access to the information they need to do their best work wherever and whenever they’re most productive. 

“Before our customers use the latest software releases, we drink our own champagne and push the tech to our people.

“There is often a pushback on inflicting change in an organization, but in today’s transforming world, change and adaption must be a core muscle of culture. I was at a meeting recently where Satya mentioned, “You don’t get fit by watching other people go to the gym.” When it comes to culture, it is a participation sport!”

To hear more from Peesker and other leaders, book your ticket to HR Tech Summit Toronto here.

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