Four Strategies for Unifying Your Employees & Creating a Culture of Cohesion

It’s not your Grandpa’s global anymore

Gone are the days where employees feel an overall sense of achievement by simply holding down a job. Today’s workforce wants to express themselves through an entrepreneurial spirit, collaborative teamwork, purpose and drive, and social connectivity. Also, management can no longer expect employees to wait patiently in the wings for advancement opportunities.

Therefore, organizational leaders must put processes, programs, and systems in place to optimize the performance of their talent, creating what I call a Cohesion Culture™.  

What is a Cohesion Culture

A Cohesion Culture is an environment where employees have a sense of belonging, feel valued, and make a commitment. When all three elements are present, not only do you experience cohesion, but this leads to increased performance and engagement. 

When employees feel they are part of something that matters, they are more likely to express a positive attitude toward others and the organization. All employees want to have value, or more importantly to be valued. And when employees feel valued, they are willing to make a commitment to the overall mission of the company.  

Why focus on cohesion?

Building a Cohesion Culture™ takes more than offering employees casual Fridays, a snack bar, or a ping-pong table in the employee common area. It’s also more than sending a congratulatory email or posting a picture of the “Employee of the Month” on the wall of the break room.

Cohesion by definition is the action of forming a united whole. This topic has been studied for several decades now, specifically how it positively impacts performance in all stages of a group’s life cycle. Leaders can no longer put the burden of organizational success on the shoulders of the employee. To be effective, leaders must make the effort to be purposeful toward building high-performing teams by creating cohesion within their culture.

Four Strategies to Create a Cohesion Culture

It isn’t necessary for you to go back to the future to create the type of culture that builds and supports high-performing teams. For a quick glimpse, simply explore these four strategies.

  1. Establish a standard for greetings, laughter, and handshakes – look for how people interact with each other. Observing how employees behave in the hallways, break rooms, and within their work environment can tell you much about how cohesively they work together.
  2. Invite others to model transformative leadership behaviors – employees need positive role models to emulate; the type of leaders who treat others with respect, accept failures and share successes with their team members.
  3. Integrate organizational core values in every aspect of the business – it’s not enough to simply post the core values on the walls of the company’s common spaces, or to reiterate them on the organization’s website and job descriptions. Leadership must honestly support these value statements and support activities that allow all employees to live it, breathe it and own it.
  4. Invest in employee development – when leaders pour into the success of the employee and help them achieve their personal goals, then organizational success is a natural by-product. This is especially true when desired individual outcomes are consistent with organizational success.

Employees want to know that what they do matters. It’s personal. It is incumbent upon management to connect the dots between an employee’s purpose and the role they play in the organization.  Employees will commit to achievement when they understand why the outcome is needed and how the outcome contributes to their personal and company success.

Do your employees know the “why” and what contribution is needed to reach the company goals?