Creating Extraordinary Workplace Culture – Week 8

You’ve heard the quote “do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” It sounds inspirational, but all too often, doing what the quote suggests is simply not realistic. Perhaps if we did what we loved, we would be laying out in a yacht somewhere in the Caribean. But reality tells us all that nobody will pay us to do that. So what do we do? Come to accept that we will never love what we do so that it feels like we work every day of life? It doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, I believe we can find a happy medium where we do three things. First, we accept our situation for the way it truly is. Second, we consciously make the best of it every day. And third, we strive to become better individuals so that we will be ready to fill the role required when a new and improved situation comes along.

As a leader, culture radiates from you

In my last article, I wrote that enthusiasm and negativity are both contagious – it’s up to us which one we want to spread. Nowhere else in the workplace is this statement truer than when relating to company culture. It is up to the leader to decide what kind of tone flows throughout the organization’s veins. If infused with positivity and joy, everyone in the business will have the opportunity to make the best of their situation. The way the leader reacts to everything that happens will be echoed throughout the company, which is why this understanding is monumental to creating extraordinary workplace culture. It begins at the top and ends with all of us.

Listen to your team, then act and follow through

Asking your team questions is one of the most valuable ways you can simultaneously benefit both individual employees and the business as a whole. For instance, simply making time for interaction with people at every level in the company can allow fresh ideas to finally see the light of day. It’s entirely possible that a team member has had an idea, but no one ever took the time to listen. Additionally, when a team member states a need, the extraordinary leader will quickly act and follow through to provide a solution. Not next week, not some time – right now. Because when leaders show that they are willing to act immediately, a new standard is set for everyone else in the organization. Putting tasks off until a later date no longer becomes acceptable. The norm has changed, and with it, a wave of new abilities will be witnessed. Once again, it begins at the top and ends with all of us.

Actively work towards creating joy

Would you rather work for someone who complains about the things that go wrong, or someone who turns the wrong things right? There’s no question that a positive problem solver who actively creates joy will have more loyal and happy employees. The question is, will you commit to putting in the effort required to be inspirational? Or will the norm remain where it is at? It begins at the top and ends with all of us – and the choice is yours.

What did you think? Leave some feedback! :)

6 thoughts on “Creating Extraordinary Workplace Culture – Week 8

  1. Austin,
    “Listen to your team, then act and follow through.” This is illustrated through the show Undercover Boss. Here is the link if you have not seen it. http://www.cbs.com/shows/undercover_boss/. When I have sat down to watch it, the CEO or Owner goes into the field to work with his employees and he/she is disguised. It is amazing how many good ideas come out of these experiences. The CEO/owner is often unaware of what is going on in the front lines-good and bad.
    When the employees learn who they had worked with, the JOY they express when their ideas are taken seriously is palatable. I think we could all agree employees want to be listened to and if their idea makes sense, to see it implemented. That is how a creative, caring, positive culture gets built.
    Cece

  2. Austin,
    Creating a great workplace where people enjoy coming to is so very important. Is is amazing that there can be a worker for $18.00 an hour that so truly loves there work and then there can be a $25.00 employee that is always complaining and brings down the group as a whole. BEWARE of this better paid worm eating your apple. They will spoil the love and respect of a company even if there is no fault of the company. Know who is working and how they are producing and representing the company at all times.
    Mary

  3. Austin great post, I am an optimist and I really don’t care to much of what a police officer does when it comes to have to arrest someone. I do take the bright things out of being a police officer and this is what makes my job a little more tolerable , and that is building the quality relationships with the community. I think we can take positives from good and bad jobs. I try to be excited with joy every morning I wake up

  4. I studied workplace culture in my undergraduate degree and I’ll just leave my two-cents here. There are two things that are needed to create a great workplace culture and you can’t have one of these without the other: autonomy and dignity. In order to give workers dignity, they need autonomy. No micromanagement. No poisonous management. No belittling or obnoxiously strict company rules. Let workers be themselves and give them opportunities to learn and to shine. Once they have that, they will be respected amongst peers and management for having that ‘something’ that they are good at. This gives them dignity and workers that have dignity stick with a company far longer than those who don’t.

  5. Great post! I agree, if you tell me do what I love, it might not be what I am doing now. Not, that I don’t love what I do now, but I might love traveling more! So, you have to evaluate and make every day a good day! The workplace needs to be no expectation. I mean you spend 8-12 hours at work — this is probably more time than you spend anywhere else. I wish some of the places I worked at in the past, understand about the happy work environment and less micro management. Thanks for giving us these great tips!

  6. Austin,

    Great post
    Listening can save you a whole lot of time, money and brilliant ideas. I think creating an environment that is open to listening to each other and their perspective – actually motivated employees to THINK BIG. Even the same suggestion could save the company unnecessary spending.

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