Improving Workplace Culture
by Caleb Larkin
Any work environment that thrives and promotes real growth needs to acquire a positive and fulfilling workplace culture. As an organization improves their “culture” the productivity increases, morale is lifted, and revenues increase.
Workplace culture is implicitly connected with productivity. A CNN article highlighted the distorted view most managers have of productivity. The article states, “Employees who burn the midnight oil might be viewed as ‘dedicated’ to their work, while others who quietly get their work done during business hours might be passed over for a promotion.”
In order to improve your workplace culture start with a focus on real productivity over hours clocked in. Employers often over prioritize the time clock as a measure of productivity. To break that mentality, establish meaningful metrics to measure an employee’s real added value.
In order to improve your workplace culture start with a focus on real productivity over hours clocked in.
Compensate based both on time and accomplishments. When employers incentivize the right kind of work, employee’s productivity increases, even if their hours “clocked in” decrease. You want to compensate results not simply time.
An accomplishment-based compensation rewards employees striving to use their time wisely. Hard and competent workers will finish tasks quickly and effectively. If hours are the only determining factor in pay, more effective workers are essentially punished the more efficiently they finish a task.
For a work place to thrive, an employee needs to see the results of what they add to the company. Prioritize what adds value to your company’s mission and efforts and allow an employ to see how they improve on these goals.
If a time consuming task produces no results, be willing to give it up. Allow employee feedback on what works and what doesn’t to be taken into account. When an employee is validated and heard, they are valued and produce even more.
A work environment with an emphasis on the time clock often leads to overworked employees, or at least “over clocked in”. Studies show that the difference between a 50-hour workweek and a 75-hour workweek in productivity is almost negligible.
Prioritizing time over accomplishments doesn’t diminish productivity, but instead increases an employee’s likelihood of getting “burnt out.” Most employees focus on their hours worked each week as a measure of how busy, and therefore tired, they should be. If an employee can work fewer hours, yet accomplish more and not be undercompensated for their efforts, they will feel energized and willing to take on even more tasks and responsibilities.
Fortune 100 evaluated the top 100 “greatest places to work” and discovered that 86 of these companies offer their employees flexibility in where they work, when they work, and taking time off.
If you really want to improve your workplace culture, take the steps to allow for employees to have lives outside the office. Give employees the opportunity to work from home when available, take time off, and focus on family and other life issues. When work becomes all they are, an employee’s demeanor and morale will be less stable and affect productivity.
Flexibility for time off, special circumstances, and work from home scenarios allow an employee to take more responsibility for their input and efforts in their career. The risk of workers taking advantage of the situation is low, as the right employee will more than make up for the time lost and show appreciation for the flexibility.
Do not measure success in time spent, but in accomplishing goals
Building a positive reputation for your company centers around workplace culture and the morale of your employees. The happier the employee with their work, the measureable value they add and benefits they receive, the more productive, innovative, and skilled they become in their profession.
Employees won’t constantly focus on the clock and drop everything when it strikes 5pm. They put in more effort to accomplish real growth. You don’t have employees that feel like it’s a prison sentence that pays, but instead you create a creativity zone that produces.
Do not measure success in time spent, but in accomplishing goals. Restricting employees by setting a schedule for them does not allow the flexibility needed for productivity. Be willing to trust your employees to produce more, even on their own set schedules. You can still require a lot of them and set standards and goals, but flexibility can go a long way in accomplish your organization’s real purpose.
Put the proper emphasis on accomplishments instead of hours allows you be flexible with your employees, giving them time off when they need it. Establishing trust in a relationship naturally reciprocates in responsibility and duty.
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