Blogs by InnovatorsBox®

2 Essential Roadmaps to Build Happy, Creative, Inclusive Workplace

Building a healthy happy inclusive workplace for all is no longer a perk, it’s a requirement. In truth, it’s always been but if you aren’t sure how to build that workplace for your people, it’s not too late. I want to share key questions and tools that I found to be crucial in all the culture and leadership development I’ve done in the past decade, so that you could build that workplace for your people today. 

InnovatorsBox® Culture Roadmaps

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Building a healthy happy inclusive workplace for all is no longer a perk, it’s a requirement. In truth, it’s always been but if you aren’t sure how to build that workplace for your people, it’s not too late. I want to share key questions and tools that I found to be crucial in all the culture and leadership development I’ve done in the past decade, so that you could build that workplace for your people today. 

No, this isn’t a sprint. It won’t be an overnight success and will probably require years of investment. But every intention and dedication you put in will manifest the result. And you can start seeing results as soon as next month!

All throughout the pandemic we’re seeing more and more people making it clear that “enough is enough.”  And studies have always indicated measurable increases in turnover for companies with poor or nonexistent culture.

Developing a healthy and productive workplace is essential in maintaining the success of your organization long-term and ensuring the right people are along for the ride.

Seeing messages like Brigette Hyacinth’s is a breath of fresh air. We’ve all been waiting to normalize a workplace where everyone is treated as a human being first.

So where do you start? As a culture and leadership coach the challenge I often hear from leaders is in the “how.” — “Monica, I want to do this better but I simply don’t know how. Where do we start and what can we do to build that workplace for all and even remotely?”

They are right. Simply throwing around the concept ‘happy workplace culture’ or setting new values without any intention behind it will not deliver the result they want. Intentional leadership, team development, and awareness in every interaction at work is where culture is built. And I want to share some key tools that will help you attain that result. Here are the creative roadmaps you’ll want to use and discuss with your teams to build a workplace for all no matter how big or small your team is.

Building a Happy, Creative Workplace Culture For All

Creating a “happy,” creative workplace can seem totally complex and overwhelming, but in reality, “happiness” and “creativity” are everyday building blocks that you build on over time.

Injecting happiness and creativity into your company culture goes beyond writing them into your values. It’s about intentionally incorporating those values into your organization workflows, onboarding processes, and communications. 

For example, Google is notorious for developing a happy and creative workplace culture. Google prioritizes workplace happiness by offering flexible working conditions for their employees. Team members can essentially work where and when they want (within reason). They also encourage employees to have to take breaks (nap pods are even available) and collaborate with each other through their ‘Googler to Googler’ programme. 

Google also embraces creativity by giving anyone the opportunity for ANYONE to share their ideas/thoughts at GoogleXLab where they are actually rewarded for failure because it is framed as a “learning tool.”

We obviously don’t all have the resources of Google, but it’s easy to see how we can inject a little of that “Googleness” into even the smallest organizations.

It’s important to note that all healthy/happy cultures look different. What works for Google may be wrong in other organizations. As a first step in developing your company culture, listen to what your people say they want, not what you think the people want.

The secret? Be patient, persistent,  bring in other perspectives and always put people at the center of what you do.

Ready to take that first step in building a happy, creative company culture?

Download the ‘Happy, Creative Culture Roadmap’ for FREE Below
Content and creative direction by Monica Kang and Illustrations by Ekaterina Kapranova

The creative journey of building this roadmap

Building a Happy, Hybrid Workplace

If there’s one problem that every business on this planet is dealing with right now, it’s solidifying workplace expectations during the Coronavirus Pandemic. There’s a lot of decisions to be made and unknown variables to navigate. 

As we work more online, how can we reimagine connectivity and how to use this as a playful way? See this as an opportunity to re-evaluate your company’s workplace dynamics for the better and learn an unbelievable amount about your team in the process.

“This is an unbelievable opportunity to remake culture. It’s rare in a leader’s lifetime to have such a clean drop for reshaping how you run the place.”

After all, the studies about whether people prefer to work remotely or not are pretty inconclusive at best. It depends! People are different. One person who would thrive working entirely remote, while the other completely loses their mind. All are valid. Providing as much flexibility as possible and again, listening to what the people want, is going to serve you well as you tension in your organization through this time.

Want some guidance on developing your remote/hybrid workplace environment?

Download the ‘Building a Happy Remote Workplace Roadmap’ for FREE Below
Content and creative direction by Monica Kang and Illustrations by Ekaterina Kapranova

The creative journey of building this roadmap

In the end, the journey to building a happy creative workplace for all starts with remembering that this is for people and it’s a journey. Take a look at your ROI measurements, milestones, and how you make decisions and use the roadmaps as your guide in how you could center your decisions around people first. Look forward to hearing how this ignites new discussions and learning as a result. Let me know what other questions come up as a result. Thanks for investing in your people and culture – today and everyday. 

InnovatorsBox is a culture and leadership firm that specializes in helping people unlock their workplace creativity and creating happy teams. Want more resources like these workplace roadmaps? Browse our library of creativity, leadership, and culture resources here.

Download ALL: The Happy, Creative Culture Roadmap, A Happy Remote Workplace Roadmap, and two accompanying Worksheets.

First, start with treating people as human beings not human doings. 

They are not just a person who can deliver work and have a title in your organization. They are human beings with thoughts, feelings, perspectives, opinions, and carry different experiences and lenses of seeing things and doing things. How are you designing your workflow and workplace where everyone feels they can be who they are, express what they feel, and express why they feel or suggest a different way? 

When psychological safety – feeling emotionally safe to show up as who we are in any setting – is not established then it doesn’t matter how fancy your office is. People will not feel safe to show up as who they are nor want to work bringing their 100%. You lose in both cases – unhappy workforce and unproductive team lacking trust. But understanding is one thing, what can we do when most leaders and corporations have been focused on building milestones based on what the company wants for its future, not what it’s people really want or how they want to grow? 

When was the last time you asked what your people want and how did you give them space to grow? And no, I’m not talking about the canned picture-perfect answer that I’d like to see myself growing in this organization forever. I’m talking about what they really want to do in life and in their career? Do you know what their dreams are? Start being curious about your people. Who are they? What drives them? 

People are saying enough is enough. If you are not going to invest in your people, culture and work environment, no matter how competitive your salary and fancy unlimited vacations are they will leave because why stay somewhere you are not treated as a being.

Thank you Ekaterina Kapranova for making this come to life with me! You can learn more about her work here on her instagram.

About the Author

Picture of Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang, Founder, and CEO of InnovatorsBox® and Author of Rethink Creativity is transforming today’s workforce through the power of creativity. She helps companies rethink culture, leadership, and team development by making creativity practical and relatable regardless of industry or job title. She has worked with clients worldwide including Fortune 500 companies, higher education, government, and nonprofits. Monica’s work has been recognized by The White House, Ashoka Changemakers, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Prior to InnovatorsBox®, Monica was a nuclear nonproliferation policy expert. She holds an M.A. from SAIS Johns Hopkins University in Strategic Studies and International Economics and a B.A. from Boston University.

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