Managers Make Culture Real

As organizations navigate the shift from hustle culture, which has been conditioned into us for decades, to more sustainable whole-life cultures and practices, it’s critical that they pay attention to the role of managers in this shift.  After all, managers are the ones that make culture real.

Managers, who, according to Gallup account for 70% of variance in employee engagement,1 are the real cornerstone to any organizational culture because they are the ones that set the tone for how things get done every day.2

That’s why it’s critical that organizations not only gain managerial support for the culture shift but prepare every manager to be a proud advocate and living example of the whole-life culture.  This includes making sure every manager has room to implement this new way of operating, which might require lessening of individual tasks assigned to employees in manager roles to empower them to learn, grow and adapt to this new way of thinking and doing.

Setting managers up for success in this new culture means training managers to be accountable to not undermining the culture in an effort to get results,3 which is often encouraged inside of cut-throat cultures. In reality, great cultures lead to great results.

Managers will also need guidance and coaching of their own, so they are able to properly introduce non-work conversation and get to know their people as more than just workers and support them in whole-life endeavors.4  

When all of this support for the manager comes together, managers become the key to shifting the cultural mindset.

Because managers need to show genuine vulnerability in front of their teams.5  

  • They will need to reassure their people of the permission they’re being given to take off the work-only blinders, which means being vulnerable in front of their teams by sharing their own self-reflections and intentions for building a life they want.
  • And managers need to be purposeful in how they lead, listen and show up for their teams, encouraging their team members to be thoughtful with their time, advocating for their team when workloads need to decrease to account for stressors in life, and enabling their people to live whole lives.

This can only happen when organizations are fully supporting their managers.  Remember, managers are people too and right now they’re caught in the middle with hustle culture.  It’s time to liberate them and pave the path for them to inspire their teams to action.

1 –

2 –

3 –  

4 –   5 –