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How to build a positive workplace culture with Whole Brain® Thinking

by | Jan 30, 2020

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According to a study by Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe workplace culture is important to business success. That’s because an organisation that can create and sustain a positive culture will enjoy the many benefits of more motivated employees, more innovative products, improvements in retention and better customer relationships. 

Many companies have recognised that happy employees are productive employees and have thus established a variety of employee perks, from flexible working arrangements to in-office ‘nap pods’. But creating a positive working environment requires more than installing a ping pong table in the office. It’s the intangible elements, not the monetary ones, that have the biggest impact on organisational culture and employee satisfaction. 

Aspects such as regular and candid communication, employee recognition and access to senior leaders are ranked as more important than compensation. It’s less about the beer keg in the kitchen, and more about creating a culture where people understand each other, diversity is recognised and encouraged, and all employees have a common language for easy communication.

When you look at these intangible elements, one can clearly see the benefit of using Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® as a foundation for building and sustaining culture. Whole Brain® Thinking gives all employees a common language and a means to understand and communicate with each other, no matter how different they are from one another. 

An inclusive work environment

A positive workplace is one where all employees feel recognised and valued, no matter their differences. Whole Brain® Thinking not only provides the tools to recognise differences in thinking, but enables employees to harness these differences.

At the core of the Whole Brain® Model is the idea that varied perspectives and different ways of thinking will ultimately lead to better outcomes, including more effective decision-making, innovation and higher productivity. The Whole Brain® Model can be used as a foundation for building an inclusive workplace where differences in perspective and working style are not only welcome, but encouraged.

A common language 

Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® provides the tools to create, sustain or change culture because it provides a framework for building a common language. When we understand Whole Brain® Thinking, we’re better able to understand and communicate with each other.

We all know communication is the number one factor when dealing with people. Better communication leads to improved team productivity and empowers colleagues to harness the diversity of thinking styles in the workplace. This leads to more creative and strategic thinking, improved decision-making and a workforce that’s more agile to changes in market. It ultimately drives better business results. 

How Bendigo Bank used Whole Brain® Thinking to create a community-focused culture

Herrmann began working with Bendigo Bank in 1998. They had identified that its rapid growth was negatively impacting the community focus for which it was known. As the bank brought on more and more staff, it needed a way to reinforce the company’s community-oriented values, while also finding a way to differentiate the brand from the negative industry image of the banking sector.  

Herrmann helped Bendigo Bank introduce a formal training program based on the Whole Brain® Model. The program gave each executive and manager their own HBDI profile, which they used to better understand themselves and their staff. Due to its success, the program was soon rolled out organisation-wide, giving the entire staff the tools to recognise how they and their coworkers preferred to think and approach work, as well as their own strengths and weaknesses. 

Whole Brain® Thinking was used as a tool to understand and harness diversity within the company and is now embedded into all the bank’s practices, from formal training workshops to day-to-day decision-making. 

The bank even embedded Whole Brain® Thinking into its customer service approach to reinforce the brand’s community and customer focus. Using Whole Brain® Thinking, all customer service and sales staff are trained to pick up on cues to identify the thinking preferences of their customers in order to anticipate and address their needs. The result was a huge improvement in customer satisfaction, with Bendigo Bank beating out all other banks in a 2003 customer satisfaction poll. Bendigo Bank scored an 86% satisfaction rating, compared to an average rating of 59% for Australia’s ‘Big 4’ banks. 

How to use Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® to build a positive workplace culture

Herrmann has worked with many organisations to help them build, sustain or change culture. Using the Whole Brain® Thinking framework and the HBDI, Herrmann has enabled these organisations to better understand themselves and create a shared language for a more inclusive and positive workplace. If you’d like to learn more about how Herrmann can help your business succeed, get in touch for a consultation

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