Sociology blogger, Karl Thompson, found that we work roughly 92,120 of paid hours over the course of a lifetime (assuming you start working at age 18 and retire at 67). According to his calculations, this is also at least 50% of our total waking hours in any given working day. With half of our days (sometimes more) spent pushing pencils and focusing all of our energy on making a living, it’s imperative that burnout is prevented among employees. Business owners who desire continued financial success will want to stop this from happening too. For this reason, employers need to care about building a strong work culture. But, how do you go about doing this?
The Case for Building a Strong Work Culture
Our society seems to be obsessed with more; this falls among our work lives as well. For years, it’s been assumed that the more you push employees, the more they will do, and the more successful the business will be. Recent studies show, though, that this pressure and mindset actually increases company costs and reduces productivity. A December 2015 article in the Harvard Business Review shared that healthcare costs are 50 percent greater for those in high-pressure jobs and an estimated 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress, not to mention more than $500 billion is drained from our economy also because of workplace stress.
A positive work environment leads to happier and more productive employees as well as improve employee retention, Larry Alton, contributing writer for Forbes, explained in this February 2017 article, “Why Company Culture is Becoming More Important.” The business consultant added that it helps you to remain competitive and attract better talent. There is no one-size-fits-all way to build this corporate lifestyle, but the following are just a few.
How to Build a Strong Work Culture
Create a Vision
Before you build the ideal environment for employees, you need to know what kind of company culture you believe in and how you want everyone, especially employees, to view your business. This is where you define what the organization values and standards that will align with company goals. You’ll want to also make sure those in higher positions are following these standards to help establish and reinforce this vision you’re trying to implement.
Communication is so important in business, especially when trying to enhance your work culture. Be transparent with your employees but also make it OK for them to ask questions or provide feedback if something doesn’t seem to be working. Even if you disagree with their stance, you can at least explain your side of the situation. This will at least help them understand if nothing more, and it can help limit resistance.
Provide a Sense of Freedom
Freedom is empowering, and micromanaging can make employees feel limited and frustrated with work. This can also attribute to the individuals feeling more connected to the company and really wanting to see things through. According to business and professional services platform Pluralsight, micromanagement not only leads to a loss of trust but dependent employees as well, which costs you more in time having to tell your employees what to do all the time.
Positive Employee Recognition
Work is stressful — that’s a given, which is exactly why you need to make sure that, when building a strong work culture, you take time to commend employees for a job well-done. Give credit where credit is due. This does not mean, though, that is need to be a daily affair. However, everyone could use some positive reinforcement every once in a while. This can also help with keeping co-workers in a team mindset rather than feeling all alone.
Being a business owner is no easy task, but having a team dedicated to your company’s success will help make your own job easier. What tips would you add to list?