Let’s face it; some companies are just a lot more fun to work for than others. If you’re lucky you may have found your calling and landed a cushy job that you absolutely love. You’re co-workers may be some of your best friends, your boss has high expectations but is warm and welcoming and you feel motivated to do your best. You feel your work is meaningful; you have a nice balanced healthy life. If however you dread going to bed every night simply because that means you have to wake up in the morning and go to work, well, you’re experience is quite different. You actually may have no idea about the purpose or meaning behind what it is you actually do. Your co-workers favorite past-time is to sit and gossip about another co-workers relationship, you share a cubicle with someone who constantly eats stinky microwavable lunch entrees and you often think about packing all of your belongings and moving to a foreign country just to get away from it all. Your only saving grace at work is the moment you can secretly find solitude and peace in the bathroom stall.
If you’re a business owner or manager and your company feels like the last scenario and more like Initech from the movie “Office Space” than Google, it may be time to take heed of the 4 points below and start improving your company culture, and yourself along the way.
#1. Have a Clear Direction
If you don’t know where your company is headed you can’t expect your employees to know, or care about their work. Having a clear vision of your organizations future and communicating that vision to your team consistently helps them to understand their path and how their daily work contributes to that journey. Creating clear goals and objectives and celebrating milestones along the way will help your team spend less time at the water cooler and more time engaging in their work.
#2. Work with Purpose
Some of us spend more time working than anything else. With that in mind the more purpose and meaning you can integrate into your mission, the more passionate your team will feel. Knowing that their work not only puts food on their family’s tables but also helps provide food for the local shelter is enough to make anyone feel good about waking up and going to work.
#3. Constantly Improve
Be OK working outside of your comfort zone because that’s where growth and learning occur. If you continually look for growth opportunities and ways to personally and professionally improve your organization will grow with you. Practice this, preach this and push your team to do the same.
#4. Take Care of Your People
Let’s face it, living a balanced life is difficult and often our employees tend to ignore their own health even against their better judgment. As a leader it’s your responsibility to not only care for yourself but also care for your people. Make sure you’re living a balanced life and not working yourself to an early grave. Take your vacation time. Work to live and don’t live to work. Find time to exercise regularly. Eat healthfully inside and outside of work. And finally, provide opportunities to help your team to the same. Take care of your people and they will take care of business.
Inherently each of us wants our work to have meaning and purpose and go home each day feeling like we made a difference. People only gossip by the water cooler when they feel like they have nothing better to do. With a little planning, encouragement, follow-through, sincere care and attention to constant growth, you’ll soon find yourself, your team and your company at the top of your game and thriving in a positive culture.