Wish you were here?
hat does it take to
create a workplace
look forward to
returning to each day? It’s all about
being real and going out of your way
to give your team what they need.
Forget the snazzy furniture, free
snacks, and Bring Your Dog to Work
Days, forming an authentic corporate
culture is more about introspection
than interior design.
Business leaders must focus on
human needs, not trends, to build the
type of workplace that makes people
happy to hop out of bed, yawn, stretch ...
and then get to work. Are you ready to
make your office a destination, not just
an obligation? Then you’ll need to know
some basic psychology and be ready to
exercise your imagination a bit.
First, consider how your
organisation satisfies the three human
cravings, identified by author Daniel
Pink in his book
Drive: The surprising
truth about what motivates us
. These exist
for everyone, whether they work for pay
or not. Pink says, in some area of our
lives, we all need:
the freedom to make decisions on
an opportunity to build expertise
at some activity
participation in an effort that is
larger than the task at hand
When employees experience these
things at work, they feel both satisfied
and empowered. This combination is
a great motivator to do a good job, and
to keep coming back for more. If you’re
a leader, your job is to consider how to
enable people to achieve those things in
your line of work.
Put yourself in your employees’
shoes. You might ask how a factory line
worker can exercise a little independent
thinking, or how an office clerk could
master a valued skill. You might think
about how the long-term vision for
your company serves a greater need in
the world, instead of just the wish to
BUSINESS AUTHOR CHR IS
DYER EXPLA INS HOW TO
CREATE A WORKING
PEOPLE LOOK FORWARD
TO GOING BACK TO
command a huge market share.
You can satisfy these human needs
automatically by attending to seven
fundamental aspects of corporate
culture. When it all clicks, people will
feel more passionate about their work
and have more fun doing it. Set aside
a full week and put together a plan for
working on each area.
The free flow of
people honest and
able to make their
own decisions in line
with your business.
How open are the
at your company? Does
everyone know who
does what and whom to
turn to for help? Can every staff member
approach anyone in the organisation
with questions or ideas?
When you attend to these issues,
it becomes harder for individuals to
sidestep their obligations. As everyone
pulls their weight, teams become more
cohesive and productive. Transparency
shows that you take ethics seriously, and
that you’re all part of a larger effort.
A positive attitude to challenges
and obstacles keeps morale high and
teams looking for solutions, instead of
continually putting out fires. Do your
teams evaluate strengths as well as
weaknesses when problem-solving? Do
they do this before trouble happens, or
just after the fact? Do you let individuals
build on their achievements?
Consider your own attitude when
you walk in the door each day. When
you dwell on what’s not working,
you perpetuate a negative spiral that
pervades everyone’s environment. If
there’s a problem, don’t just complain,
address it. If there’s not, shout about
what’s going right.
It’s important to use standard metrics
to evaluate business and employee
performance, to keep the process
objective and fair. Do you survey or
informally ask employees for their
feedback, rather than evaluating only
from the top down? Do you share this
information and act on it?
The perception that what you
don’t know won’t hurt the business is
false. When people harbour doubts or
grudges, they can’t give their all. They
become defensive, or offensive, in social
interactions, demoralising your teams.
“You might think
about how the
for your company
serves a greater
need in the
world, instead of
just the wish to
command a huge