Why a People-First Culture is the New Priority (Part 2)

By Geraldine Woloch-AddamineNov 28 2022

1- The Future of Work is about TRUST to shield from the chaotic world

If you learn about trust everywhere, it’s for a good reason. Trust is the ultimate emotion that can erase burnout. People at high-trust companies report 40% less burnout.

How even is that possible?

When we feel trust, we increase the brain’s chemical oxytocin level. This substance activates a brain network that makes us more empathetic and eager to understand others better.

We’re such social creatures that our brain rewards us for feeling trust to cooperate with our fellow human beings and overcome competition. To create synergies. For surviving or thriving.

And it’s good for performance: research shows high-trust organizations can increase employee engagement up to 76%. In other words, there’s a big chance that disengaged employees distrust their manager, their team, or their company.

The reverse mechanism is also true: the brain inhibits oxytocin in stressful situations.

This is the power of neuroscience research over the past decade. As a result, we can better understand how intrinsic motivation can impact corporate culture. And how much – we humans – can be sensitive to our work environment and feel demotivated and disengaged in a toxic atmosphere.

Understanding this phenomenon is fundamental in our current hybrid workspace where the pain – that feeling of isolation, lack of belonging, or silos reported in recent studies – can be a strong driver for burnout and attrition. 

2- And teams are the new shelter

The positive team atmosphere is even more critical for performance as the hybrid setup and the dominant matrix organization promote decentralization in favor of more autonomous teams.

This significant shift around the teams makes them the new center of performance and power.

The most successful Tech companies already have this project or team organization: Gitlab, Automattic, and Microsoft have team DNA “Future of work-ready” for this reason.

Indeed, we must learn to navigate through a new team-centric hybrid environment. And especially to find new ways to connect teams.

This is why the design of many new offices encourages a community-building approach with open hubs to replace the small, divided individual spaces. Guess what? The same holds true for the digital world. The Metaverse is about community and WEB 3 decentralization. Team communication tools relate to channels or groups of people as well.

And while the empowered teams can still create performance in a chaotic environment, the company’s productivity and bottom line will only thrive through a robust cooperative process promoting transparency as a core value across teams by building communities.

3- Transparency is the future-ready core value 

In a hybrid working environment, the new challenge is to overcome the siloed organization that can only offer a limited number of in-person interactions at the office. Especially if meetings are uncoordinated, if people choose to come to the office when they want, bumping into a colleague is just a matter of luck (or bad) luck.

Another solution to compensate for the lack of interactions is to create more intentional and organized networking opportunities or events at the company level. But it can be costly, and it should all start with greater transparency as a core value throughout the organization, whether processes are hybrid, in-person, or digital.

Without having a sense of what other teams are doing, we can lose motivation by not understanding the big picture or the impact of teamwork.

We risk feeling that work is meaningless and useless and, to that extent, lose the feeling of belonging that is so emotionally important for our socialization.

Instead, with direct access to other teams and a better understanding of their contribution, impact, goals, and strengths, it helps bridge teams for better cooperation and innovation.

Collective success can then become a shared value across the organization with more transparency and trust between teams. Internal customers and shareholders can contribute together for more satisfaction, motivation, and engagement in this new hybrid culture.