You’ve likely read some of the articles coming out that are highly critical of Amazon’s workplace culture. My friend Merge Gupta-Sunderji wrote a great article in the Globe and Mail newspaper that summarizes the issue: Amazon’s leaders are so relentlessly focused on results (the “what”) that they forgot all about “the how.” As I’ve said at least a gazallion times, workplace culture is all about the how: How you do the things you do. And if you ignore the how, it’s just a matter of time before things do deeply off the rails.
Seriously. I’ll get to the humorous robot shortly, but in the meantime, so random random thoughts, musings and ideas related to the always fascianting world of work and workplace culture…
If employee retention is an issue in your workplace then chances are you are spending time and money conducting exit interviews. Okay…I suppose exit interviews are important, IF they are done right. The challenge is that often employees don’t open up about the real reasons they are leaving your company, for fear of retribution or for a number of other reasons. The bigger issue, of course, is that exit interviews are akin to closing the barn door after the horse has left the barn. What any successful company needs to do is to build the kind of inspiring culture that turns long term employees into truly loyal employees (there’s a world of difference between the two) and nurture the kind of workplace culture that doesn’t just keep your top talent, but that keeps top performers happy and inspired.
Hills Pet Nutrition is lauded for its inspiring culture, driven largely by its ability to leverage the pride employees have in their company. Pride, as I often talk about, is an incredibly powerful motivational trigger. What great workplaces like Hills does so well is encourage a culture where employees are encouraged to express their pride about a number of different aspects of their work. So employees at Hills Pet Nutrition are proud of their products, yes, but they’re also proud of their teammates, their mission, their customers, and their great work environment. Their culture offers some good reminders for all workplaces:
It’s time for another edition of “Completely Random Musings”:
Even the CIA managed to deploy some humor in their very first Twitter post:”We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.”
Real leaders are never afraid to say, “I don’t know” and “I need help.”
Halloween is right around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to ask the question: “How scary is your workplace?” So gather your team around the office campfire, break out the marshmallows, and consider the following…
1. Do you work in a culture where people are afraid to be themselves? A workplace where everyone is encouraged to talk like zombies and wear professional masks all day that hide their true character? Inspiring workplaces excel at creating a relaxed atmosphere where people feel like they can bring their authentic selves to work every day.
Here are 11 simple ways to make a positive impression with your teammates and create a better workplace:
1. Be sweet – have candy readily available. Several studies (albeit, all conducted by candy companies) suggest that having a candy dish on your desk makes you more likable, more attractive, and more likely to hear interesting news and gossip!
2. Add a humorous quote to the bottom of your e-mail signature file and change it every day, or at least every week, so people look forward to seeing what the new quote is.
Natalie Wood once observed, “The only time you can change a man is when he is a baby.” If there’s even a morsel of truth in her comment, then imagine how difficult it must be to change the culture in a workplace. Many people feel that changing a workplace culture is akin to corralling a herd of feral cats while trying to nail jelly to the wall of the Titanic (yup, it’s a cliche super storm).
Yes, it’s challenging. And no, you can’t do it overnight – especially since the job of nurturing an inspiring culture is never finished. But yes, you can do it, and, as many organizations have shown, you can make a dramatic change to your culture faster than you might think. Here are five ways to jump start a cultural shift in your organization: