Two friends – Mahesh and Raman started their businesses at the same time. After almost a year, they are meeting each other.
After the pleasantries, Mahesh starts bickering about how nobody at his workplace seems engaged in their work and all they do is look at the clock and count the hours till they can leave the office.
Raman, on the other hand, says that he’s having a pretty good time at the office and he has a pretty engaged and happy workforce.
Upon leaving, Mahesh thinks to himself, “Raman must be paying huge salaries and that’s why he has no problem with his employees.”
Though, the reality is quite different.
More or less, the salaries for both the businesses are similar.
Then why is the situation so different?
According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, 56% of workers ranked a strong workplace culture more important than salary. This number went even higher to almost 75% and 65% for millennials in the UK and USA.
So, what factors should one focus on to build a great workplace?
Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of Mindvalley, talks about four important factors- happiness, growth, abundance and meaning.
Let’s explore these factors in detail:
Almost one-third of our life is spent at work. Shouldn’t we try to make this time as happy, enriching and fulfilling as possible?
Now imagine this. What if in your workplace everyone tried to support each other instead of downgrading each other, helped solve problems instead of lashing out, celebrated accomplishments instead of gossiping?
Doesn’t this seem like a dream workplace?
Let me share a secret formula to turn this dream into a reality:
- Encourage social connections: Research states that people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their work. Why? Because they are ensured that there is someone at the office who cares for them, who they can share their problems with and count on them to understand, who can make the bad days bearable and maybe even funny. We all need social support, even at the workplace. As an entrepreneur, you can encourage this initiative by fixing a common lunch time, allowing employees to team up on fun/non-work assignments, having a common non-work hour every weekend.
- Create a Happiness Culture: Encourage employees to appreciate each other. You can start this by having a simple 1-minute appreciation moment every day. In this time, the employee can appreciate their co-workers in any form for the good work they put in yesterday. It could be something simple as “Thanks Sussane. Talking with you made my stress so scared that it ran away” This exercise can really boost up the mood of your employees and encourage them to be helpful and spread Happiness at work. You can then take it forward to build Employee Happiness as a feature of your workplace.
- Celebrate fun days: Days like family days, culture days, heritage days, poetry day, drawing day, etc. can be celebrated where teammates may connect with each other. A little time may get wasted but in the long term, you’d build greater loyalty, engagement and trust.
What if you walked out of second grade in school with the same knowledge that you had in the first grade?
Wouldn’t a thought pop up in your mind- “What’s the use of going to school then?”
That’s the same with the employees in your workplace. If they don’t feel like they are learning something new, getting a chance to work on challenging projects or growing professionally and personally, the result would be a disengaged and dissatisfied workforce.
Two ways you can aid in their growth:
- Have a meeting every month: Let the employee’s direct supervisor take a performance review/goal discussion meeting. Let the employee talk about their goals and then the manager can come up with their own feedback and ways to facilitate meeting those goals.
- Foster personal growth: Apart from professional growth, employees might also have their own personal growth goals. For example, someone might want to learn French, someone might want to write poems. Let them write these goals on a page and stick them all on a bulletin board. People with the same goals can then team up together to achieve them.
There are two choices in front of you:
A: Work for companies like Tesla, SpaceX or any other company that is on the quest of making the world better and environmental friendly.
B: Work for a company that is shelling out a huge salary but making no difference.
How many of us would pick the first option?
Quite a few of us.
Because it is fulfilling to give our life a meaning and our life has meaning when we try to do something good for the world. We feel significant when we realize that the work we do is making a difference.
To bring meaning to your organization, ask yourself, “What am I doing and why am I doing it?”
Maybe you’re selling mobiles to help connect people together. Maybe you’re selling cakes to bring a smile on people’s faces.
This becomes the mission of your company. Put this mission on your website and you’ll attract the right kind of talent.
Another way to add meaning to your existing employees’ lives is to give them meaningful goals and to explain to them how their work is important in the bigger picture of things.
Does abundance mean giving out a good salary to your employees so that they can fulfill all their needs?
But abundance is a wide term that means creating a company that helps its employees feel abundant in every area of their life.
This could mean various things like giving them abundant time to work on their passion project or to devote time to their families, making sure they have abundant energy left even after a day of work or simply ensuring that their abundant knowledge is respected when they share their ideas or feedback.
What abundance then means is that your company should add exponential value to your employee’s life even after their time with you.
Day by day, we are hearing stories about work becoming more and more stressful and workplaces becoming more and more restrictive.
If we can invent revolutionary products, why can’t we together build revolutionary workplaces as well?
How long will we wait for things to improve on their own?
It’s time to take a step forward and start building workplaces that are great places to be a part of, for both employees and employers.
“Great things in business are never done by one person” – Steve Jobs