Since 2010, I’ve focused on enhancing our team experiences for Actualize Consulting; it’s been my passion and why I love my job. Each year we’ve seen our team getting happier and healthier, and we now have the lowest attrition rates since our inception in 2003.
Last year, Chad—our founding partner and also my brother—asked that I develop and offer to our clients a service sharing how to improve corporate culture. Thus, Culture Infusion was born.
What is Culture Infusion?
Let’s start with culture. Culture is an embodiment of the way we live our lives; it describes our way of being. At first, I thought I could compartmentalize my life and maintain a culture specific to each segment. But that left me drained as I showed up for work and personal life in different ways. When I finally decided that the same principles I was applying to my personal life could translate to my corporate life as well, everything shifted and started to flow; I was infusing the principles I strove for into all aspects of my life, and I had more capacity than I ever knew was possible. This was a new approach to culture worth pursuing and developing for other businesses.
So we have. Culture infusion simply means taking this same integrative approach to a corporate level—infusing the principles you strive for as a firm into all aspects of your business. Let’s take creating a wellness program, for example. You could have a large wellness fair, add health screenings, and call it a wellness program—likely with low impact. Or, as we do at Actualize Consulting, you could intentionally infuse wellness into all aspects of your firm and transform your whole corporate culture.
At our firm, we begin with prioritizing personal wellness and insisting on a healthy work/life balance. One of the ways we live this out is by hosting very interactive programs throughout the year to challenge our employees to learn about overall well-being. Team members take the lead each month in sharing perspectives on topics such as how to get started making healthy changes, benefits of muscle, impacts of sugar, and how to protect and maintain your hearing health. This spring, we used an online program to track our progress, which stoked a healthy competition between employees. We also held weekly wellness gatherings with different themes, where many team members shared, among a variety of other topics, how they plan meals, their favorite ways to keep moving throughout the day, and how they stay motivated. Our latest wellness program is supporting kids with cancer by tracking the miles walked, run, or biked for a month (with Actualize giving donations to the fundraising organization), coupled with wellness sharing for the entire month.
Why Culture Infusion?
Taking a silo approach to a healthy corporate work culture is a dead-end street. At Actualize, we’ve learned firsthand that a holistic approach to wellness creates the opposite—it keeps opening up the possibilities and releasing more and more energy. As each area of an employee’s life improves, it automatically boosts every other area of their life. The result is happier employees who are motivated to perform at their highest capacity, which in turn leads to happier clients.
This dynamic cultural change starts on an individual level. You must thrive personally in order to lead others effectively. The table below outlines the nine principles of Culture Infusion that will help you develop a customized plan to transform your own corporate culture, beginning with yourself. Whether you are a top-level executive or lead a team, these principles will give you valuable insights into how to create and maintain a sought-after workplace.