National conference on workplace culture to be held in Madison August 16-17

Dr Donte Vaughn

A conference meant to discuss and improve the culture of work environments, CultureCon aims to inspire change and growth in the organizational culture of companies. Companies such as IBM, Reebok, Strava and Universal Music Group and many others will come to Madison to discuss transforming workplace culture August 16-17.

Multiple topics will be covered throughout the two-day conference. Topics from DEI, employee burnout, leadership, team building and recruiting will be discussed in panels with companies both in person and live-streamed. 

This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Donte Vaughn, Forbes council member and CEO of Atlanta-based CultureWorx. Vaughn’s company is centered on transformative workplace management through “culture performance management,” to create healthy changes in organizational culture.

The conference pushes concepts for employers and employees — last year’s CultureCon had five takeaways.

The first takeaway played on Wisconsin’s state motto, “Forward.” CultureCon’s spin followed the state’s motto with “Forward, together.” The takeaway pushed its idea of change with the state motto by working as a team to deepen connections and move forward collaboratively.

Its second takeaway was leading with empathy to improve employee experiences. Last year, Colin Mincy, Chief People Officer for Human Rights Watch, was the keynote speaker on empathy. An example he shared was employers being empathetic towards the death of an employee’s loved one. He noted that employers should be empathetic over the time needed to heal and that a tragic loss is not a couple day issue where you can pick up work again quickly. Employers being understanding of bereavement, and how to be empathetic with employees’ experiences, leads to higher productivity and engagement in workers.

Culture from the inside out and the ability to show up as your full authentic self was last year’s third takeaway. Companies that allow employees to be themselves and promote physical and mental health leads to teams being able to devote themselves collectively, produce better work and mitigate burnout.

Relating to the third takeaway, the fourth, “Organizations have more control over burnout than they realize,” pushed that company culture can reduce burnout. Employers that foster a healthy environment to manage stress by reducing pressure on employees, creating a supportive and safe environment that people believe in and helping re-energize employees can reduce burnout — or at least help them recover from it.

The final takeaway from last year’s CultureCon was “finding your people.” Specifically, finding the value of your community by fostering an environment for shared emotional connection can build a more uplifting, fulfilling and healthier work environment.

Registration for CultureCon is open now. Tickets for both days start at $899. A full breakdown of tickets and costs can be found on CultureCon’s website.

CultureCon will be held August 16 from 9:30 am until 4:00 pm, with a screening of the movie Beyond Zero later at 7:30, and August 17 from 8:30 am until 4:15 pm with a VIP after party at 8:00 pm. The conference will be held at the Madison Concourse Hotel.