If you’re successful, you’ve don’t ever pursued a job that had a low business culture. But, if you’re like the majority of us, you’ve had that expertise at least once. It may have manifested itself as any one (or more!) if you go back in your mind to what it looked like of the following instances:
*** Observing your boss throw his weight around, exposing 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!”).
*** Being rejected. Everyone is familiar 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 perpetuated by adults in the workplace?
*** Backstabbing. Nobody likes being spoken about behind their back, and it’s specifically uncomfortable if it begins to feel like the folks around you at the office are mentioning you. You start to think they’re only friends to your face, and you wonder what is being said when you turn around.
*** Bribes. How about being paid extra or receiving an added bonus if you’ll engage in certain behaviors with your boss?
*** Tension to conform. What about helping someone that is constantly pushing you to compromise your own worth, or requests that you do things that break your own values?
*** Denouncing management. When people are talking badly about the higher-ups when they’re out of the room, you know it isn’t good. Repeatedly, this upholds the culture of backbiting and being two-faced, both of which don’t tend to cultivate openness, friendship, trust or goodwill.
*** Disrespect. Whether it is manifested by discrimination, unsuitable jokes, sexual innuendo or making fun, we’ve probably all watched or personally experienced at least one of these actualities. They can be frustrating, embarrassing or awkward to witness, and if you are on the receiving end, they’re pretty damaging.
In contrast, how can you set up a healthy business culture and make an environment where people would like to be? What are some practices and philosophies you can implement that positively promote good morale and make it more likely that you’ll receive respect and loyalty from your employees and have less of a turnover?
For starters, be a business that values– and exemplifies– translucence. Be open, not dim. Be up front, clear, and considerate 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 carry out to improve. Make it obvious what the standard is. Don’t allow cutting, deceptive or shady behavior in any of your employees, either. If they witness that you don’t tolerate that behavior, and that you’re living visibility in all you do, they’ll know they can get 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 focus on creating a good feel in your workplace and cultivating an environment of respect?
No one obtains preferential treatment.
All people are needed.
Make an effort to endorse the belief that each person has something useful to contribute.
Don’t tolerate any form of discrimination, poking fun, or any other behavior that slights another person or leaves them feeling uncomfortable or left out.
Show genuine recognition and encouragement.
Contradict snide, patronizing, or otherwise condescending behaviors.
And, as always, this value, as all others, has to be shown from the top. It has to start with you if you’re the heart of your business.
No one likes to work for someone who is constantly breathing down their neck and not allowing them the space to do their job. 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, despite the fact that they are giving their best. 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 now and then. Maybe it’s reserving a motorcoach every week for a scheduled breakfast, where everyone gets to stop working at 9:00 every Wednesday morning and head out to eat together on the boss’ tab. Recognize birthdays and life events, and work to cultivate a culture of care and friendship.
There are great deals of other things that could be included in this list, and you’ve likely thought of some as you’ve considered the jobs you’ve had and the culture that occurred at each workplace. Striving to develop a good company culture is challenging, but it’s worth it. If you can develop a place that truly exemplifies these values from the inside out, your employees are even more likely to be loyal, work hard for you, and treasure their jobs more.