One Last Word


A detailed assessment of current culture and relevant trends—as well as dozens of insights for leveraging it—won’t do any organization any good if it never leaves these pages.

We challenge you to synthesize and leverage this information to improve your culture. And we encourage you to take specific action (beyond emailing this report to someone up or down the org chart).

Each of us must work deliberately to create great cultures because they don’t happen spontaneously, and those that change by themselves inevitably change for the worse.

This year and next will be watersheds for all employers. Organizations will either intentionally position themselves to thrive for the next decade, or default to a path of fragmented disengagement, turnover, and less-than-inspired work. The stakes are that high and that clear.

Now is the time to move forward. With so much unknown, seize this rare opportunity to shed old practices, policies, or philosophies that would otherwise stop you from integrating new technology in meaningful ways, maximizing the power of recognition, and becoming an inclusive place for all employees.

We recommend starting by crafting a culture strategy and action plan that’s focused, with specific milestones to hit as you transition from your existing culture to your aspirational vision. The following steps can help you design and create a culture that thrives:

1. Discover

Where are you now? Where do you want to be? Assess your culture honestly to determine your baselines. This can include a survey, but you may also want to dive deeper with focus groups, interviews, or co-creation sessions. Pinpoint opportunities to improve and establish metrics. Define what success will look like for each group and your organization as a whole.

2. Plan

How will you get there? Develop a strategy that’s aligned to your organization’s purpose. Design specific experiences you want your people to have at work. Include leaders at the executive level as well as frontline managers to validate and support your strategy.

3. Activate

What tools will you use to help guide your culture in the direction you want it to go? This is where everything comes together. Rally culture-building champions and educate and inspire leaders. Communicate frequently to promote and grow your initiatives and programs. Above all, make the leap from ideas to action.

4. Optimize

How can you ensure you get the most from your efforts? Measure the impact of your culture solutions and look for insights to help improve and set new standards. Feed the momentum.

Improving culture is a journey, and in the midst of current challenges it may not be convenient. But decisive steps forward are exactly what employees need to feel confident. Taking action is a powerful antidote to the feelings of powerlessness that come with crises. And fortune still favors the brave.

We wish you every success as you synthesize new insights with your best thinking to create powerful employee experiences and a thriving culture for the coming decade.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”