The final days of "alpha" cultures - Insights
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The final days of “alpha” cultures

alpha cultureOne of the common discussions over the last year has been how so many cultures have been subtly changing for the better; away from traditional alpha cultures towards ones that are more gender-friendly, diverse, and collaborative. So many were disillusioned by the way companies acted for their own benefit with no eye on a bigger picture, a stronger understanding of their role within society. It was not just companies but “old-fashioned” individuals who believed they could lead through control rather than lead through behaviours which is what is desired today.

However, it does all mark a real period of change throughout companies and in culture. Most importantly, it does represent how society is changing. The old alpha approach created artificial boundaries and rules which presumed the inferiority of other groups.  It was often judgemental and within larger companies, often created large bureaucratic organisations where control, process, and efficiencies were the key.

But today the world has evolved. The most successful workplaces are increasingly organic, open, and transparent with leadership being increasingly accountable to its own community.

One cannot stress enough just how out of place the alpha-led cultures had become. A study by Gallop in 2018, noted that approximately 7 out of 10 employees were unengaged at work. 44% of new hires would leave within 18 months. 89% due to poor culture fit and 80% were dissatisfied with their direct manager. Turnover costs are estimated to be 100%-300% of the base salary of the replaced employee.

These figures are only the tip of the iceberg; it would easy to write a long transcript outlining all the issues but to place a positive spin on the picture, it is good news that things are evolving. Companies and leaders have now started to make changes with a greater focus on building and embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.  There may be a long way to go but there is progress taking place all the time, led by some very progressive advocates across the industry.

There is a more exciting picture starting to evolve. Research is showing that companies with inclusive cultures have 22% lower turnover rates, 22% greater productivity, 27% higher profitability, and 39% higher customer satisfaction.

Maybe even more importantly, one era is coming to a close and a new one is starting. By 2024, 58% of the workforce will be made up of millennials and Gen Z. 43% of millennials are non-white, and more than 1 out of 4 have an immigrant background. 60% of current college graduates are women.

67% of today’s job seekers consider diversity to be an important factor when considering employment opportunities. New leadership narratives are being written to adapt to this evolving landscape. Today’s leaders are increasingly willing to build a diverse and inclusive environment where individual employees can be seen, acknowledged, and appreciated.

Leaders are being asked increasingly to be genuine and authentic. People no longer want the slick speeches of a Tony Blair-styled character but honesty, understanding, even vulnerability are asked for. People forgive mistakes but the concept of denial ability of avoiding accountability are disliked to a high level.

People want to work for companies with purpose which is more than just wealth creation. It needs to stand for something beyond. Companies are being asked to carry real social responsibility, not just have tick boxes.

There is a momentum of change building, are you on board?

First published in EP Business in Hospitality.

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