It is one thing to finally clinch that dream job, but if an organization’s workplace culture is unsatisfactory, a dream job can quickly turn into a reluctant daily obligation. On this podcast we learn from workplace culture expert Mary Lipovan of Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging about how health and human services organizations can cultivate better work environments that retain employees and foster growth, innovation, and communication.

“People aren’t in this for the money,” Lipovan said of health and human services workers, “they’re in this because they genuinely want to help people.”

In order to sustain this altruistic motivation to work, an organization must establish strong company values and a clear vision. But, when these defining elements are lacking, employees lose interest and ultimately leave in search of stronger leadership.

Lipovan emphasizes the importance of defining values: “If those aren’t clear and your employees don’t know what they are, there’s always going to be that misalignment and friction.”

But defining values is more than just putting a poster up in the breakroom.

“The shortcuts seem inauthentic and that resonates just as flat as not addressing values at all,” Lipovan said.

Organizations can bring their employees together by providing opportunities that authentically foster community and build relationships. Strong values are key, but Lipovan said organizations need to take it one step further.

Lipovan argues that people should ask “…not only what the values are but how to measure them.”

Lipovan explained how there needs to be a way to determine whether the company messaging is working, and leadership needs to be open to change if it is not working. At the core of this workplace infrastructure is values, vision, and commitment, but an effective means of communication is perhaps paramount to all.

After all, Lipovan says, “Communication is key. Communication keeps the organization healthy.”

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