Whole Brand Thinking™ on Culture.

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What trends, themes, surprises, or disruptions have you seen around Culture in the last 12 months?

From quiet quitting to bare minimum Mondays, companies face morale issues that persist despite the lockdown's end. According to a Future Forum survey, 42% of global workers reported burnout in winter 2022 — a 2% increase from the previous quarter and the highest since the survey began in May 2021. What’s going on and why?

One important factor is psychological safety, the belief that one can speak up in the workplace without fear of punishment or humiliation. That’s key to workplace happiness and productivity; recruitment and retention. Without it, employees can’t bring their whole selves to work, which decreases feelings of belonging and can impact overall performance.

What does it mean for aspiring whole brands?

Whole Brand Thinking™ addresses the root causes of burnout, from unfair treatment and unmanageable workloads to unclear communication from management and unreasonable time pressures. Worker expectations for well-being at work are here to stay, and as a result, the workplace is reinventing itself. With a focus on humanity, organizations are rethinking employee experiences, workplace well-being, and their contributions to a better future, rallying around a unified purpose propelled and sustained by people across the organization.

Advice for Whole Brand Thinkers on Culture: 

  • Care for your employees, and they will care for you. Smart brands start by evaluating and defining what their real culture is today, then develop a strategic plan that includes opportunities to emphasize belonging and well-being.

  • Center belonging efforts on your marginalized employees, while ensuring organizational leadership is responsible for delivering change.

  • Avoid checklist mentalities when addressing belonging issues. Improving culture is an ongoing process requiring daily changes to how teams think, collaborate, and deliver work.

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