We spend one-third of our waking hours at work. That is if we work only eight hours a day (a utopia for most business owners). With that said, work culture makes a lot of difference! It either makes your people spring out of bed, ready for work. Or drag their feet, hoping the day will end.
Yes, I get how you wish your people can grow to be independent and autonomous. They understand your vision and mission. And you’re confident that they will make the right decision without you always calling the shots.
This is possible, but only if you spend time grooming them. And like all relationships, there are no shortcuts. It takes that same amount of sweat and pain building your business, if not harder to build your people. Grow your people, and your business will grow. Hence, here are three simple ways we can immediately boost our work culture and see a difference.
Listen to Your People
I cannot stress this enough. The simple gesture of just listening can build a stronger relationship. And it can help you gain valuable insights as an owner. It’s your people who are going through the daily grind. So, they can share with you real problems and maybe even viable solutions.
To make the meeting more effective, set a monthly meeting with your head of departments or team leaders. Get them to list down the top three problems they cannot solve. Refrain from spoon-feeding but direct them to the solutions instead. This helps them to build their problem-solving skills and take on larger roles in the future.
The stronger your relationship, the more likely they would naturally replicate this with their subordinates. What comes from the top will flow to the bottom. And if that happens, voila – you have begun the culture of listening!
Say Thank You
Showing appreciation at work and giving credit to where it’s due is so vital yet underrated in the workplace. That extra voluntary effort, that act of kindness, that consistency in performing insignificant but important tasks. All of them deserve a simple thank you to show that you see, acknowledge and appreciate them.
Start with a simple thank you and watch how that makes a person feel. The only catch is to be genuine and sincere about it. If you like, you can even take up a notch by stating the person’s name and elaborate on the specific things to thank him or her. This carries more depth and weight. Thank the person in public where appropriate. Not only this validates an act, but it also propagates a work culture of expressed gratitude.
The next powerful word to say is sorry. It shows ownership, responsibility and courage in dealing with a mistake instead of denying it. Only the mature can say sorry which requires humility and confidence simultaneously. Yes, humble enough to admit a mistake and confident enough to know that it does not define you or your worth.
Hence, the best person to exemplify this virtue would be you as the business owner. Take the opportunity to demonstrate this to your people when you make a mistake by apologising. Show them how a mistake can be turned into a positive time of learning and constructive platform to move forward.
By doing so, you will also automatically remove the toxic culture of blaming, slandering and accusing. Far from emotional vulnerability, the ability to say sorry is a mark of moral strength and character.
With these simple and effective ways, your work culture will vastly improve with immediate results. Why not try one today and share with us how it has changed things for you? Hope this helps!