(Series 8/8) Build a Business Culture of Purpose

Rosemarie DiegnanBlog

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Your employees are the lifeblood of your company, to get more commitment and productivity from them, make their time at work a rewarding one. One of the key business trends for 2016 highlighted by FastCo Design is that companies will be more focused on creating better employee experiences. Increasingly people are looking for work that has meaning, which may seem an unnecessary idealistic view but if you want to attract and keep top talent this is worth paying attention to. Job satisfaction is no longer about the monetary rewards, employees want to feel part of something bigger than themselves.

Smart companies will be prepared to change their culture into one that is more collaborative and innovative, in order to attract those that thrive in those environments. Changing business culture won’t happen overnight but you can start today by giving your employees a clear vision for what you desire your organisation to look like. The freedom to design a culture that will make them more effective and productive over time is also a big motivating factor for employees who want to feel part of the process of moving the business forward.

The three points listed below will give you the first steps to creating a culture that is purposeful:

Set a clear purpose – Do all your employees know what you business goals, strategies and tactics are? As workers, they want to be motivated by the sense that their jobs are making a difference. If your business objectives are either confused or not known by the organisation as a whole, this could dampen the motivation of your workforce. If everyone is working towards the same aim, you will notice a more motivated team.

How to deliver: Make sure your business objectives are communicated in a clear and inspiring way, it shouldn’t sound like just as another list of things to do. Hold regular team meetings monthly/quarterly to discuss the objectives and any changes with the business direction whenever they arise. 

Encourage Creativity – Give employees the freedom to try things out, experiment with new processes or allow them to contribute to new product ideas. After all, they know how the company is running at a grassroots level and in many cases, have a first-hand understanding of your customer’s needs, likes and dislikes.

How to deliver: Have space for your employees to share ideas on a regular basis either online or in person. Create a process that allows for the assessing and implementation of these ideas. Make sure their ideas are acknowledged and rewarded if it leads to a solution to a business problem. If an idea doesn’t work out, encourage them to accept their mistakes and learn from them, giving them the confidence to submit more ideas in the future. 

Embrace employee autonomy – A sense of freedom at work is fundamental to job satisfaction. However, some managers may find this a little daunting to consider, as too much freedom may lead to negative results, so it has to be managed properly. Greater autonomy can give employees the tools needed to manage current business needs.

How to deliver: Employee autonomy should not be seen as an all or nothing concept. Think about your employees’ capabilities and tasks and evaluate what level of autonomy to give individually then increase over time. According to Dr Wu from the London School of Economics, employee autonomy should be “a continuous concept that can be applied to different aspects of work”. 

By building a culture that gives your employees the freedom to shape how your company moves forward, you are also building their motivation to deliver a greater level of service for your customers, whilst growing in their commitment to their work.

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