Why KC culture experts’ new anxiety rating could prevent stress from ruining careers

Editor’s note: The following story — a spotlight on a member of the Plexpod community — is sponsored by Plexod, a progressive coworking platform offering next-generation workspace for entrepreneurs, startups, and growth-stage companies of all sizes.

Mmeasuring the immeasurable is Culture Think Tank’s specialty when it comes to corporate culture, said William Lindstrom.

“With the power of analytics, you can take years of research and data, and you can normalize it into a few questions. Then all of a sudden, those few questions allow you to discover a lot – but simply said Lindstrom, who co-founded Thought Leadership League (doing business as Culture Think Tank) in 2015 with Delise Simmons, Rob Neilsen and Jim Courntey.

Culture Think Tank uses Tableau Software, Einstein Discovery, and Surveys to analyze thousands of data points for analyzing performance, well-being, and culture within a client organization; the team is then able to give each client a culture score and a deterministic action plan, Lindstrom explained.

“The culture score reveals whether your culture is neutral or whether it contributes or distracts from your performance,” Lindstrom said. “We can also give a well-being score and an anxiety score.”

All three scores are tied to leadership behaviors, he noted. Therefore, solutions in leadership behaviors are at the center of a company’s deterministic action plan.

“The beauty of leadership behavior is that there are learning and developing people who have been training in these skills for years,” Lindstrom said. “But the problem is that they have an encyclopedia of knowledge to share during three days of leadership training. …it can be difficult [for leaders] to know which methodology they should use and when.

“We use analytics to create a deterministic action plan that gives you one or two leadership behaviors to focus on each month,” he continued. “These behaviors have the greatest impact on moving culture and, ultimately, performance.

“What’s really cool is that, on average, companies using our solutions improve their well-being and culture by 28.6% in 90 days.”

Click on here to consult Culture Think Tank.

The big four

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In order to receive a culture score, all employees on a team or company must answer four critical questions, Lindstrom noted.

  1. How are you?
  2. What is the one thing you would like your leaders to start doing?
  3. What is the one thing you need your leaders to keep helping you do?
  4. What is the one thing you want your leaders to stop doing?

“Feelings matter,” he said. “The reason feelings are important is because feelings are how humans communicate. … Because if we say, ‘I’m feeling stressed,’ it will negatively impact the culture; we inform so leaders on behaviors they can work on to reduce stress among employees.

Each leadership behavior is associated with one of the four dimensions of culture: trust, communication, alignment, and accountability.

“Now, for the first time, executives have everything they need to know where to invest,” Lindstrom said. “The most important thing is that now they can get feedback on the culture.”

anxiety at work

Culture Think Tank has partnered with Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton – the co-authors of “Workplace Anxiety: Eight Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Manage Uncertainty and Get Things Done— to develop an anxiety rating, Lindstrom shared.

William Lindstrom, Thought Leadership League, Culture Think Tank

William Lindstrom, Thought Leadership League, Culture Think Tank

“What we find is that anxiety is the statistically significant variable that determines culture and performance,” he explained. “With this book [Anxiety at Work], we’ve mapped out all the best practices they cover and built programs around them. »

About 86% of all top performers in organizations experience anxiety, according to Anxiety at Work.

“High performers are often worried about whether they’re doing enough or not; it’s that restlessness that makes them high achievers,” Lindstrom said, noting that if employers aren’t intentional about reducing anxiety, it will lead to the burnout of top team members.

With the uncertainty of returning to work during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, workplace anxiety is seeing an overall increase, he continued.

“Anxiety right now is on the rise,” Lindstrom noted. “Anxiety is actually increasing as more and more companies require employees to return to the workplace. … Then people get used to the change, the anxiety will decrease, and then there will be the next event that causes anxiety.

Lindstrom’s passion for his work with Culture Think Tank stems from his experience with a strong and inclusive company culture during his first job at PricewaterhouseCoopers, also known as PwC, he shared. Throughout his career, Lindstrom has worked to recreate this healthy environment.

“Labor shouldn’t be painful. It shouldn’t be something that stresses you out or ruins careers,” he said. “It can be quite the opposite – it can be something that inspires everyone to have a better life.”

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