The great vision of a perfect culture with emphasis on employee motivation, refined systems and processes, enticing rewards and recognition, and employee-friendly policies is a cliché now. Today, intangibles that perhaps lost significance in the past are prompting a renaissance in forming an exceptional company culture.
Great work place and people don’t happen accidently. The essentials of culture are far more abstract than what we realize. It is time we understood the human elements before we understand our approach. As a human being, we have a high, transcended nature which perhaps will not be inspired by basic motivational tricks. Hence, we need to create a superior culture of wellbeing and happiness at the workplace where each one of us can transcend, realize and practice some of the basic, yet superior virtues those we all truly deserve. So, what are those superior elements that need our attention:
- Generosity at the workplace: Despite having read a lot and talked about generosity at the workplace, a lot of us haven’t implemented it yet. Generosity in this context entails giving others latitude, permission to make mistakes, giving someone a chance, the benefit of the doubt and ultimately creating a reason for others to want to work for you. In a nutshell, all this translates to generosity of the true spirit that creates a sense of safe environment where you are fearless to fall, wake up and get going again.
- We all go to work and give our best expecting one basic need in return – Freedom. The much hyped employee motivation efforts of gamifying the work place, incentivizing, creating transparency, team work etc. all takes a back seat when you replace it with Freedom. Allow people to do their best in their job by empowering them and then measure the results. The results arising out of freedom are exponentially higher and better than any of the other techniques. If you truly believe in unconventional thinking and consider to stand apart as an employer in creating a great culture, then provide freedom to think, perform and express courage in the work they perform. Employees will definitely value the trust put in them.
- Acceptance – We usually treat people as they are or make them feel worse. But, if we treat them not just as they are but as they should be, we perhaps can help them to become what they can become and attain goals transcending their usual realms. As we grow, we should let people accept others and work coherently with a heterogeneous mix. Acceptance should be w.r.t uniqueness in personality, background, skills and behavior of the employees. Organizations are not built alone. Differences are common and we need to strive hard to be constantly non-judgmental. We need to be matured enough to accept and move on with certain non-fundamental issues with people and processes.
- Inclusiveness – Nullifying age, diversity, region, society, status and lifestyle is another special feature of a great culture. Perspectives broaden our thinking and approach to work. By being inclusive, we are breaking the monotony and the after effects of monotony. We need to celebrate differences and free ourselves from being biased.
- Simplicity is an intrinsic value of being. If we have to quantify. As it is, we all face tons of complexities in our personal lives. So, as an organization, our contribution in creating simplified processes, policies, evaluation systems and metrics will be highly appreciated. Gone are the days when complex design and practices signified great results. Individuals who are more self-actualized tend to embrace values focused on improving the being and will appreciate the system.
- Beat the conventional wisdom – Stay open to alternative approaches of work. Quantify the goodness of what other methods and techniques can bring. It’s hard to beat experience, strength and knowledge. However, with millennials estimated to being the largest percentage of the workforce by 2030, conventional wisdom should be moved aside once in a while and disruption should be encouraged.
- Staying true to what is important– Create a list that needs the focus and effort of your employees. Every company needs to have its own taxonomy that defines a priority list of what is of utmost importance, so that everyone is aligned and has a sign off. Example, for phamax, a high performing culture is a key and uncompromised value. A clear message is sent to all teams about the importance of performance.
- Help employees create happiness and identity for themselves– Let each employee have friends and build identities for themselves for their work. Experiences at work place are more meaningful than materialistic gains. Since we spend a lot of time at work, the workplace needs to be a place to express yourself.
Finally, anyone can imitate you as an organization, but not your culture. Organizational culture is a blend of thought through processes, policies that we set, people we hired for a specific reason, the beliefs they hold and the attitudes they carry. We don’t need a cult, but an atmosphere where goodness multiplies and reflects as culture.