Do we start with a question first and ask Is our culture busted? Or is it a case that management now realises that it needs to be more proactive and forward thinking with an ever-changing and adapting workforce to ensure that they are looking after their number one asset and that is people.
“We complain about the culture, yet we are the ones creating it” Jeremy Golberg – Long Distance Love Bombs
With many generation gaps in one workplace, this can be an interesting and frankly a very hard task to tackle. If we look at a company like Google where the workforce is of a similar generation, management can create a comfortable landscape that suits them. It is placing animals in their natural habitat! We feel at ease when we are not carrying the body armour and mask to protect us where we are not comfortable. In this circumstance this company is aware of what the needs of their staff are and use of landscape as part of its foundations of enhancing their workspace and creating a positive on the type of culture that company is after. It, however, is just one factor and there are so many more that build our culture. We need to look beyond the free coffee in the lunchroom or sleep pods in an office and dive deep into understanding each individual staff member and their needs.
I believe it comes back to basic foundations or what I call pillars. It is the basic human desires for life not just when at work. I need to be the same person at home and work, it is the same needs; I don’t want to tolerate issues because “that is just work”. This is the era for me of removing the mask and actually discuss with my management on personal needs. There will always be people that it is a means to live but my kind of work is that it creates the feeling of being empowered and working on purpose.
On reflection from more than 30 years in the workforce, I can say that this is my list and creates balance for me with work and home. It places me in a space where I want to give more and be more.
I have given so much more to the organisation when these 5 pillars have been catered in my workspace:
• On purpose
It is forward-thinking management that can communicate intelligently to all members across the generations within a workspace that creates these pillars. It is not an easy role, but they are required to mentor, lead and guide all staff members from the support staff to key roles for that particular organisation. All roles within the workspace should feel equal value, a support role or a non-key role for any company should not feel any less valued in the workspace. This is an indication of having the culture right.
Staff for any company with the right leadership team will embrace positive behaviour, they will become what management output is… I refer back to the quote at the beginning. We create this.
Fun is a real factor; I want to enjoy my day as so much of my time is spent at work. Whether it is appropriate social events or the joy and banter within an office. The environment where you are invited to lunch at the nearest café with workmates or everyone in the same area joking and laughing. If inclusion is done correctly there is not that annoyance of spending time with workmates outside of office hours and instead something to look forward to. I have seen many times when companies include and praise staff’s families in such events and also when the team heads out to celebrate the end of the week. When we embrace each other for the individuals that we are, inclusion is the natural progression of that behaviour. Removing the clicks would feel more like inclusion for me.
We all have to look at the take-home pay packet at the end of the day and even if all these pillars are covered but the pay does not cover the base level to live then human survival nature will have us looking for a higher paying job. If I was not being paid extremely well for what I do, and the pay was covering my bills I would stay in a workplace that created these 5 pillars. Recognition of my work whether it is in my pay packet, verbal acknowledgement, promotions, financially rewarded, bonuses, or shares would be a loud message of how I am valued in the organisation. This is a message I need my management to get across loud and clear. I am not talking about the daily pat on the back but real recognition for my contribution, great work and successes.
Understanding the mission of the organisation and what role you play in it gives you real purpose. Communication is so crucial and instead of that ‘need to know basis’ attitude that I have seen within companies but rather a company that can deliver a clear and transparent understanding where the company is heading. An organisation that can deliver this will have many employees becoming an Intrapreneur, wanting to be part of the innovation, to be the dreamer that does and have the hands-on responsibility for creating innovation of any kind. When you speak the same language as the organisation when you see the same vision and you clearly know how you can come in good and make it better you feel you have a purpose. For me it is the trust of being part of the company puts me in this space.
I am human and life does not create an easy smooth ride outside of my workspace, instead, I will encounter many different ups and downs. I want the space to come to discuss what is happening for me so if my time is affected during office hours that I have that support. Taking away that don’t bring your home issues to work having space where all masks are dropped and able to be real, raw and authentic. This is a judgement free zone. In this area, I can share where I am at in my life which has a huge impact on my day to day at work and of course my output.
In my career, I will want to grow personally, be challenged, be in charge of projects or just play as a team player. When my management creates a space that I can come and talk no matter of the situation and it has no impact on how I am seen then I am supported. From this situation, I am no longer a clock watcher, but I am part of the family.
Many companies hire the most intelligent people to make their companies better but then go ahead and micromanage them. The ideal for me is given enough rope to play and have some fudge room for errors so I can grow. I obviously don’t want to cost the company any huge loss, but growth only comes from falling down and space where this is possible. The feeling that the company has my back and will empower me to make decisions but freely discusses if they can see other ways projects can be done. Freedom and strength come from this feeling; I can become more than what I dreamed of and so much more than the company thought I would become.
We are living in an era that requires high Emotional Intelligence from our staff and management. It is having the right staff, the right team – it is the team that can abide by the pillars and accept everyone like family. To create a family, we need to care and be kind, considerate, know each other and understand what our needs are.
“If we have a connection, we have the beginning of culture; then we need brave leaders who are willing to build courageous culture” Brene Brown.
This would be a workplace that I would want to be in.
I want you to be happy in your career; with my workshops we can tackle any issues that stop you from reaching that. You won't need a sea change but love who you are and what you do.