What matters the most for embedding positive work culture and inclusivity

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo
Claudio Erba, Docebo

Claudio Erba is CEO at Docebo, a learning management platform focused on the learner experience. He shares his experiences fostering a positive work culture, and the boundless benefits he believes it can have.

During my professional career, I have witnessed cultures thrive and fail under different conditions. It's much easier to create a positive company culture in the same office or building. That's why, in a digital age, having staff across the world presents its own challenges.

Technology and the internet have enabled us to do so much more in the workplace, but companies need to harness it better to positively impact workplace culture and ensure an inclusive company in the long-term. 

Communication is a pillar of every successful business 

One of the great benefits the internet brings is the ability for us to communicate with each other wherever we’re located. This has enabled teams to be based across continents, working on the same project all wanting to achieve the same goal. It's also brought people together from all walks of life, be it background, region or outlook. 

But a lot more can be done to improve how we communicate with each other. When communication breaks down, it reveals toxic culture, bias and a lack of inclusivity in the workplace. Communications starts from the top. Senior leadership teams must ensure practices are in place to foster goodwill, and nurture and retain the best talent. 

Use technology from the top down

Technology is a great tool for creating better workplaces if used correctly. I’ve witnessed too many companies bore their employees with hours of dry content on diversity and inclusion. This will not engage your workforce!

At Docebo, we recently sponsored Pride Milan and produced a piece of content for our team to watch. The result was a highly engaged team, not only in Italy, but across our offices in the UK and North America. It created a lot more goodwill and togetherness, rather than being sat in a conference room with PowerPoint training. 

People first, always

The office is where you spend most of your life and, although that sounds sad, it's critical that business leaders create an environment that makes employees feel comfortable. Without this, a toxic culture brews and it has two separate impacts on a company’s culture:

1. Psychology - Bad company culture can foster discontent, employee dissatisfaction and ultimately bad business performance. There will be employees who become stuck in roles, unable to learn new skills and becoming stagnant. This cycle of uncertainty, stress and unhappiness will damage individuals in the long term and has negative impacts on employee psychology. 

2.  Retention - There’s no better feeling than seeing one of your employees develop their skills and grow into new roles. But if the environment is stressful, where a toxic undercurrent exists it'll also foster the desire to leave. As mentioned before, some workers won’t be able to act, but others will pack it in and simply leave the business. This proves costly for the employer not only through recruitment time and fees, but also the risk of losing the best talent. 

Ultimately, if you prioritise profit and loss before people, it will only divide a company further. Although it may seem daunting, boards and senior teams shouldn't be scared to lose customers if it results in a more positive culture with the best talent. It'll drive business growth in the long term. 

Challenging bias in the workplace

Bias is only recognised because it exists as an opinion formed by a group rather than an individual.

One person raising their voice in protest doesn’t carry as much weight as a systemic concern channelled through the voice of an organisation. To create the latter, companies must develop a comprehensive engagement campaign to change perceptions. 

Diversity leads to a better workplace

If the senior leadership team wants to attract the most talented people, it needs to be open-minded and recruit people from all backgrounds. The more people you have from different backgrounds, the more open-minded your workforce will be, open to change and development.

At Docebo, I encourage all employees to lead with an openness to change - because as a business changes, we all need to show flexibility.