Employers: It takes genuine effort to cultivate a team culture that organically motivates. But when achieved successfully, the results can be dramatic.
“Workplace culture is the backbone of any organization,” explains Michael Dingle.
And according to Dingle, chief operating officer behind TELUS Health, workplace culture is not just a motivational poster on the wall.
“It is critical for businesses to do more than simply say they have a positive working environment,” he says. “They must take action to ensure employees feel supported.”
Toronto-based LifeWorks, a provider of digital wellbeing solutions supported by Vancouver’s TELUS, released its latest Mental Health Index, revealing that 38% of Canadians believe there is a significant difference between the culture their workplace claims to have compared to their reality. In fact, only about one-third of Canadians believe their company accurately represents its true culture.
This is important because negative workplace cultures impact mental health and lead to less productivity than positive work environments, according to data from LifeWorks. Those who rate their workplace culture as demotivating have a mental health score of more than 15 points below the national average—that is not likely to be a proficiently performing person.
“Long-term business success is dependent on creating a strong, inclusive culture where all team members can bring their whole selves to work, while feeling supported and appreciated,” believes Dingle. “The data is clear that when organizations prioritize a culture that supports total wellbeing, they will see stronger business results.”
Overall, the August 2021 score of 65 points is the same as last year.
Salaries are up for Canadian tech talent, which currently sits in the driver’s seat. However, the pandemic-driven rush to hybrid work has drastically altered employee expectations, who now demand flexibility above all. And companies have responded. With up to 99% of tech firms offering hybrid or remote roles for tech talent, LifeWorks says about two in three employees are overall content with their workplace environment.
“We have clearly seen that employees who work for organizations that support employee mental health have better mental health scores than employees who work for organizations that do not,” affirms Paula Allen, global leader and senior vice president of research and total wellbeing for LifeWorks, which is actively hiring through the Tech Talent Canada Job Board.
There are examples of what Allen describes within the Canadian tech ecosystem already.
Prior to the pandemic, Jobber was an entirely in-office work environment: every employee lived within commuting distance of either Edmonton or Toronto, where the company’s two offices are established. During the pandemic, Jobber switched gears and hired nearly 400 fully remote people.
Tech Talent Canada spoke with Sara Cooper, Jobber’s Chief People Officer, in May to understand how the Canadian company handled this major shift in office culture and workflow. In a hybrid environment, “companies need to be concerned about connection because it directly impacts engagement, performance, retention, and culture,” Cooper said.
Meanwhile, TAP Network and Cube Business Media are collaborating on Tech Talent North, a conference addressing “people and culture issues” across Canadian tech.