08 Aug Growing a Healthy Business Culture
If you’re lucky, you’ve never worked at a job that had a poor business culture. If you’re like most of us, you’ve had that experience at least once.
A. Witnessing your boss throw his weight around, flaunting his wealth or status (e.g. handing an old poster of a nice Mercedes to an underpaid subordinate and expressing, “Take that home and put it on your fridge and dream!”).
B. Being ignored. Everyone recognizes with what a click seems like and how they are great at making others feel detached, but wasn’t that so high school? Why is it being bolstered by adults in the workplace?
C. Backstabbing. No one likes being talked about behind their back, and it’s particularly uncomfortable if it begins to feel like the folks around you at the workplace are mentioning you. You start to believe they’re only friends to your face, and you ask yourself what is being said when you turn around.
D. Bribes. How about being paid additional or getting an added bonus if you’ll participate in certain practices with your boss? Ewwwwww. Enough said.
E. Pressure to conform. What about working for someone that is constantly pushing you to compromise your own values, or requests that you do things that violate your own values?
F. Denouncing management. When people are talking badly about the higher-ups when they’re out of the room, you know it isn’t good. Once again, this upholds the culture of backbiting and being two-faced, both of which don’t tend to develop openness, trust, friendship or goodwill.
G. Disrespect. Whether it is manifested by distinction, unsuitable jokes, sexual innuendo or making fun, we’ve probably all witnessed or personally experienced at least one of these issues. They can be infuriating, embarrassing or awkward to witness, and if you are on the receiving end, they’re pretty hurtful.
In comparison, how can you set up a healthy business culture and develop an environment where people really want to be? What are some philosophies and practices you can implement that positively bring about good morale and make it more likely that you’ll achieve respect and loyalty from your employees and have less of a turnover?
For beginners, be a company that values– and exemplifies– translucence. Be open, not dim. Be up front, clear, and appreciative in all of your business practices. And never keep it a question as to where an employee stands with you. If an employee’s job is on the line, don’t let it be a secret. Be open with them about why, and give them specific things to work on to improve. Make things clear what the standard is. Don’t accept cutting, shady or deceptive behavior in any of your employees, either. If they observe that you don’t tolerate that behavior, and that you’re living visibility in all you do, they’ll know they can have you at your word and trust you to be what you have offered yourself to be.
As a close second, make respect a must. How do you concentrate on creating a good feel in your workplace and cultivating an environment of respect?
Nobody gets favoritism.
Everyone is needed.
Make an effort to endorse the belief that everybody has something valuable to present.
Don’t accept any form of discrimination, poking fun, or any other behavior that slights somebody else or leaves them feeling uncomfortable or excluded.
Show genuine respect and encouragement.
Refuse to accept snide, patronizing, or otherwise condescending behaviors.
And, as often, this value, as all others, has to be exhibited from the top. If you’re the soul of your business, it has to start with you.
Stay clear of micromanaging. Nobody likes to work for someone who is consistently breathing down their neck and not giving them the space to do their job. If they don’t have any wiggle room to share their own ideas or express their creativity, an employee can feel like they’re in a straight jacket. On top of that, if they’re doing a great job and are committed to the company, that will likely change if they feel as though they aren’t trusted, even if that they are giving their best. (Naturally there are times when someone is DESISTING their best, and in these events, a closer watch may be needed. For those that are working and making great contributions, allow them the compliment of knowing that you trust they will do what they’re expected to do, and they’ll do it well.).
Do things to boost morale and make things a little light-hearted from time to time. Maybe it’s taking everyone to dinner once a month. Maybe it’s scheduling a motorcoach every week for a set up breakfast, where everyone gets to stop working at 9:00 each Wednesday morning and head out to eat together on the boss’ tab. (Additionally, that’s fun, cuz everyone can travel together and indulge in establishing friendships!) Maybe it’s regularly providing drinks and snacks, or consistent thank yous for a job well done (movie tickets, dinner gift cards, etc.). Recognize birthdays and life happenings, and work to grow a culture of care and friendship.
There are bunches of other things that could be contributed to this list, and you’ve likely thought of some as you’ve taken into consideration the jobs you’ve had and the culture that was present at each workplace. Making every effort to develop a good company culture is effort, but it’s worth it. If you can build a place that truly reflects these values from the inside out, your employees are much more likely to be loyal, work hard for you, and value their jobs more.