What is an ideal workplace look like? Does it have to be filled with recreational stuff like Foosball, table tennis, bean bags etc? Or is it more about an inclusive organization that encourages independence and promotes work-life balance? There is more than just the obvious answer to this question.
Most companies aim to be the organization that everyone wants to work for. But they don’t actually understand what employees actually look for in a company and what kind of culture improves their productivity. Employees spend more than 70% of their day at work and want to feel comfortable and happy at their workplaces. For most organizations, employee happiness, employee engagement and employee satisfaction are merely some buzzwords, they do not realize how important it is to promote employee engagement at the office and take care of employee happiness.
How many times do you see a supervisor worried about their employee wellness or employee satisfaction with their current work? If they worry, it is mostly either because the productivity of their employees is affected or because they feel that they hired the wrong person because their skills aren’t helping the organization anymore.
Many HR managers and supervisors are still trying to figure out why keeping employees engaged is better than their usual practices like micromanagement, hypercompetition, constant pressure and inflexible work practices. Most companies don’t even realize when their culture changes from the most engaging and flexible culture to a toxic and unhealthy culture.
With changing times, what employees expect from their employees is also changing. The need to retain talent is more now than ever. Employees want to be a part of an organization that respects them and gives them opportunities to grow professionally and personally. Good compensation and benefits could retain them temporarily but if they aren’t happy with the workplace culture and the way things work in an organization, sooner or later, they’ll find another place that values their ideas and gives them growth opportunities.
How to be that organization that everyone wants to work for? Here are a few changes that you can make to your organizational culture, that will motivate others to work for your organization.
Promoting transparency at workplace helps you nurture a fear-free and open culture at workplace where employees feel free to openly discuss their mistakes and accomplishments. Transparency helps managers confront situations, which are otherwise difficult, professionally and easily. Most information about the company isn’t always available to employees. Transparency allows employees to access information about their company’s mission, vision, goals and objectives without any difficulty.
This also helps them align their own goals to the company goals and witness the difference they are making to the company personally.
Appreciate Good Work
Most employers tend to forget to appreciate their employees’ good work but they specifically remember to criticize when something goes wrong. This practice not only promotes disengagement but creates a sense of dissatisfaction in employees which directly affects their productivity. So, always remember to appreciate and recognize the good work of your employees.
Using an employee recognition software could be a start to changing your company culture to the culture that promotes appreciation and recognizes employees for even the smallest of their progress.
Create Learning Opportunities
Learning is a constant process and it is important to keep improving yourself, no matter at which level of job you are. And as a manager, you’d want your employees to keep expanding their skills regularly. So, create an environment where employees are encouraged to continuously learn and improve themselves. This will allow you to provide them career growth.
A learning management system allows managers and users to create courses in different formats and assign them to their employees. This frequent practice allows your employees to understand the importance and utilize the culture of continuous learning.
Make Your Workplace Inclusive and Treat Your Employees Equally
Equality at the workplace should be your motto without anyone having to tell you. Always treat your employees equally without any bias. Work towards making your organization more inclusive because it isn’t a trend to fade away but a practice that needs to be put into action immediately.
An inclusive workplace promotes a diverse culture. This culture helps you bring a wealth of knowledge into the room. So, it is important to make your workplace inclusive with regard to age, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, color, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation. Various fresh perspectives will allow for an organization to overcome new challenges and improve itself.
You can do this by starting with setting goals for diversity and inclusion at workplace and providing relevant training and development from time to time.
Promote Work-Life Balance
This is a very important aspect that drives employee retention and contributes to your company culture. Like mentioned before, employees spend most of their time at workplace and want to feel comfortable and happy at work. Most managers fail to understand that employees have a life outside work and that they need to respect it.
It is really hard these days to disconnect from work, with all the technology and emails linked to our phones. Create a culture where employees aren’t bugged with work at any time of the day. Understand that this is a sign of toxic work culture and pull yourself back from demanding them to work from home on a holiday to send that email out to a client. No matter how important it may seem at times, it is important to draw the boundaries.
Employees get a sense of accomplishment and happiness when their managers show faith in them and encourage independence. It is important to monitor your employees’ progress but more important is to let them do it their way. You cannot micromanage them and expect them to perform better. Micromanaging damages employee trust and it is very common for managers to fall into the habit without knowing it.
One of the simplest things that team members expect from their managers is respect and being included. But there are some managers who completely ignore the ideas of their team members and make them feel under-valued. If you think that asking your team for opinions would be a waste of time, then it’s time to evaluate your managerial style.
Commitment To Health And Wellness
According to the U.S. National Comorbidity Survey for Americans ages 15 to 54, 18% of employed individuals experienced symptoms of mental health issues.
At least one out of six employees deals with mental health issues like anxiety, stress and depression.
There are many reasons why employees experience mental health issues and do not speak about it as often as they should. As a manager, it is important for you to make your employees feel valued and heard. The first step to supporting the mental health of your employees is to help them with workplace issues including workplace stress and peer pressure.
As a manager, it is important for you to commit yourself to the health and wellness of your own employees. Spread awareness and conduct training sessions for employees so that they do not feel ashamed to open up about these issues. Many employees do not speak about their mental health issues because of the fear of being misunderstood. Create a culture that encourages employees to speak about their mental health issues.
Many workplaces offer free sessions with therapist for their employees’ mental health assessment and support. Support your employees and encourage them to take therapy sessions occasionally. This will help them understand and acknowledge their deep rooted issues and gradually solve them.
Encourage Frequent Feedback
It isn’t humanly possible to be good at everything just because one is a manager. Sometimes, managers need to learn a few things from people around them. In this case, from their employees. It is important to build a culture where employees are comfortable enough to share frequent feedback with their supervisors.
Encourage your employees to come forward and share frequent feedback with their managers. This practice helps you build a culture of trust and continuous development. Using an employee feedback software can make this practice easier to implement.
Originally published on Engagedly