By Henry Brown
When the same people work together day in, day out, certain habits and routines often start to develop. For the most part, these tend to be positive ways of making the workplace work more smoothly. However, it is also true that people tend to get stuck in certain ways of doing things, whether or not they are effective. Given enough time, it can be all too easy for a poor working culture to develop. This can happen in any workplace, and it doesn’t really matter what the caliber of the people are. Fortunately, there are ways to reverse the flow. Let’s take a look at four key signs that a workplace’s culture is going in the right direction.
Employees feel able to express themselves
Most people have, at some point or another, worked in an environment that felt stilted or tense. In these situations, it can often be challenging or even downright frightening to voice an opinion. A sure sign of something going right, however, is that staff members feel able to fully express themselves in the open. It is this kind of open and honest communication that businesses really need to see more of. The sad truth is that plenty of business owners try to put a stop people speaking frankly and openly when it starts occurring. But letting your people talk in a frank manner is just what your business needs to grow.
Responsibility is evenly shared
There are certain things that everyone has a shared responsibility for, and everyone needs to be aware of that. Health and safety is a good example. As the employer, you have a particularly important role, of course. You need to ensure that the proper routines are in place, that everyone is aware of them, everyone has received their h + s training, and so on. But it is just as true that your employees need to take on a certain level of responsibility. After all, it is down to each individual to look after themselves – and those around them. When a workplace is full of people who know this, everyone feels safer and more secure.
More time is spent working than talking about working
With the modern way of doing things, a surprising amount of time can easily get wasted in most workplaces. This is particularly true of a lot of office environments. We have all had the experience of wondering why a meeting needs to go on for quite so long. Well, a growing number of businesses are actually ditching the meeting – in favor of emails and memos. The results are highly pleasing for most entrepreneurs who try it. When you free up your employees’ time in this way, they have the chance to put much more effort into their work. The knock-on effects from this can be considerable.
Creativity takes priority over routine
Yes, you almost certainly have certain ways of doing things – and for a good reason. However, being too stringent or too attached to the old ways of doing things is unlikely to get your business very far. Businesses thrive on change, on the excitement of new ideas rather than the emulation of old ones. A great working culture is one in which everyone feels able to take a chance on a new, bold idea – no matter how risky it seems.
Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.