How Music Powers Inclusive Workplace Cultures

Music has a strong yet subtle way of bringing people of different cultures together and bridging the gap between individuals in the workplace.

Company culture has become a buzzphrase, being tossed around in executive meetings, topping media headlines, and serving as the core reason employees are saying, “I quit.” Stocked breakroom refrigerators, office foosball tables, and casual Fridays no longer make the cut for boosting workplace morale. In the aftermath of the Great Resignation, where millions of U.S. employees left roles in search of better career opportunities, employers were hit with the fact that culture harnessed the power to make or break a team. In fact, approximately 70 percent of employers say culture is more crucial to business success than strategy and operations. With that, it became clear that the term’s ambiguity needed to be defined in workplaces across the nation to truly make a difference.

Pushing aside the old office mentalities of casual Friday and free coffee “perks,” organizations have learned that ensuring all employees feel valued plays a large role in a healthy company culture. With that, creating an inclusive workplace has shifted to the top of leadership’s priorities—and rightfully so. Research shows that 78 percent of employees want to work for an organization that prioritizes diversity and inclusion.

So as companies seek to boost engagement through true diversity and inclusion, the question is: How? One unique way to implement diversity and inclusion in the workplace is through the power of interactive music.

Music Supports Diverse Connections

From joining together in anthems, songs, and choirs, music has a unique uniting power. This force is essential in the workplace, as a sense of belonging is key to employee satisfaction, happiness, and overall business success. Inclusivity is the song that keeps employees in tune with bringing their authentic selves to work each and every day. According to a Great Place to Work survey, when employees experience a sense of belonging at work, they are five times more likely to want to stay at their organization for a long time and three times more likely to say their company is fun.

Music Sparks Inclusivity Between Employees of Various Cultural Backgrounds

Music has a strong yet subtle way of bringing people of different cultures together and bridging the gap between individuals in the workplace. By empowering employees to collaboratively choose the music they want to hear in the work environment, employers are fostering environments of improved interpersonal communication and pro-social thinking that spark inclusion and celebrate and educate one another on various cultural backgrounds.

Music Celebrates a People-First Workplace

From playing a team member’s “hype” song before a presentation to turning up the volume on an uplifting tune after closing a big deal, music commemorates the team and the individuals who deserve accolades. After all, the team truly deserves the recognition. In fact, a recent Gallup survey revealed that when workplace recognition is done right, employees are four times as likely to be engaged and 56 percent less likely to look for other job opportunities. Why not curate a custom playlist for each employee and let it ring throughout the office as a reward for an epic win? Personalized, authentic recognition is proven to have a resounding impact in showing that you care about your team as people first and that is a safe space where employees thrive.

At a time when company culture, diversity, and inclusion are top priorities at workplaces worldwide, it’s important that companies take action in cultivating work environments where these terms are more than just a concept. Employees will feel valued and truly represented in the workplace through proactive action steps and visible commitments. By supporting social connections and camaraderie, bringing team members together, and celebrating cultural diversity, organizations are well on their way to creating healthy cultures that workers want to be a part of and engage in.

Ross Honey
Ross Honey is the president and CEO of TouchTunes. He leads the company’s strategy for innovation and market expansion. His extensive background in digital media and entertainment includes 10 years at Microsoft where he served in a variety of roles, primarily in the Xbox business, including general manager of Entertainment & Advertising. Honey was named to the AdWeek 50 in 2012 and 2013, and profiled in “5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers” (Crown Business, 2003) by James Citrin and Rick Smith. He holds a B.A. cum laude in History and Economics from Duke University and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business.