6 Ideas for Creating a Company Where People are Excited to Come to Work
1. Celebrate the individual: Create a company culture that encourages new ideas and perspectives. Until a time when we have a staff of robots working for us, our company is made up of individuals. Treat them as such. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to hire intelligent, capable, innovative people and then place them in an environment unsupportive of their new ideas. Encourage employees to introduce their own element to their work.
CHALLENGE: Allow a full day each month where employees are encouraged to work on projects that combine their individual interests with the goals of your company.
2. Be accepting of dissent: The hardest decisions we make are often difficult because there is not a consensus among our team. Someone is likely to be upset by the outcome. However, allowing open disagreement with decisions and policies can be a good thing. Although uncomfortable at times, it forces us to consider opposing perspectives and defend our own ideas. That being said, the dissenters must provide a sound argument for why they oppose a certain action or policy. Accepting criticism within an organization ensures voices are heard and can result in a stronger end product.
3. Trust your people: What does it say about us if we spend our time and effort to find the best employees, but then watch their every action like a hawk? It says we don’t trust who we hire or we don’t trust our own judgement. Everyone has their own methods and style to getting work done. We should allow employees to find their most effective and productive methods for reaching their goals. If someone can produce the same desired results working 32 hours per week from home as they do working 40 hours per week in the office, why not let them do the former?
4. Embrace failures: Failing is a fact of life. We all fail at some point, and it does not feel good. By embracing failure we strip it of its negative aspects. The project our team worked on for the last three months flopped? We must take responsibility for the failure, learn all we can from the shortcomings, and try not to repeat the same mistakes. View failures as an opportunity to grow, and do not let them hang around like a dark cloud. Fail, learn, move on.
5. Put people first: Do right by the people in the organization. Our people are more important than company policies or the numbers. When my grandmother was near the end of her life, I got a call at work from my family saying she had taken a turn for the worse. Without hesitation, my boss told me to stop what I was doing and allowed me to be with my family. My grandmother passed away three days later. I am forever grateful that I came before company policy or numbers that day.
6. Push authority downward: If it is in the interest of our mission and you have not been told explicitly not to do something, the answer to anything our employees want to do is “Yes.” Of course, make common sense a part of this policy. The point is, empowering employees to make impactful actions frees them from having to check with their superior for every decision. By doing so, we make our teams more efficient as well as foster an environment that encourages leadership and responsibility. The catch for employees is that they are always accountable for their actions, for better or worse.