Updated: Aug 17, 2020
We are culturally obsessed when it comes to how our business functions. We don’t see the culture in ways that we normally do as a greater society. In the outside world, literature, theater, music, and artwork are all ingredients to a culture of a nation. In the world of business, procedures, communication, tasks, checks, and balances, as well as productivity, are the ingredients to company culture. As a small business owner, it's your dream to create a fantastic company culture that supports all employees, allows them to work at their best, catches mistakes and fluidly corrects them. It's important to understand, not every employee will feel the same about their work atmosphere and standards. Creating a professional environment in which you can squeeze the best performance, out of every employee, is how you allow individuals to get ahead and increase their effectiveness.
Not just job titles
Your business doesn’t have to follow suit with the industry. You don’t have to create job titles that match in accordance with the standards that are used in other businesses. Look beyond the job title and ask yourself, what kind of function do you want your employees to have? A worker’s purposefulness is his or her call to arms in the struggles your business faces, daily. If you want them to perform at their best, giving them specific job roles and responsibilities with an immediate hierarchy that matters to their skills and abilities, is paramount for success. Too much role overlap creates tension among employees. When two employees are trying to fit their block into the same hole, it's bound to cause confusion and somewhere along the line, the ball will be dropped.
Therefore, when you’re creating a role, focus on the responsibilities rather than the job title. This allows you to create roles specific to your business needs. Don’t follow the industry standard all the time, give your roles a unique name that’s valid to your needs. If you need someone to look over previous product designs and help you learn from mistakes, call them a ‘design researcher’ rather than a design assistant. If you need someone to create designs in your marketing department, call the role ‘marketing designer’. Give each employee specific responsibilities, make sure there’s no overlap of duties and create brand new roles where you need them.
Rise of false productivity
There are a plethora of things that impact a workplace’s productivity. It's been the magic word of the previous decade. As offices have become more advanced, there has been a rise in the tools available to workers so they can complete their tasks quicker. However, this has resulted in productivity across the world remaining pretty much stagnant for several years. Although our employees can do more in less time, productivity hasn’t noticeably risen. This is because our approach has been wrong. In the sway of the fourth industrial revolution, we have brainwashed ourselves into thinking, more work done at speed is better for company growth.
The quantity has gone up due to technological factors, but the quality of work has suffered. When we give our employees too much to do, the quality is inevitably going to go down. Therefore, to make your business a place where you get the best out of your workers, don’t overload them with tasks. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Technology allows for multiple tasks to be completed quickly, but if you want great ideas to flourish, fewer errors and more attention to detail, then don’t pack too many tasks together and give your employees more time to finish the tasks they have.
Ensuring collaborative trust
Modern employee collaboration hinges on trust. Teams are working closer than ever before. Once upon a time, collaboration between teams would have been kept strictly between managers. Managers would be the middlemen that gave individual teams and departments tasks to complete. It was their job to bring all teams and tasks together at the same time without making contact. However, with the advent of cross-functional teams, employees from different departments are working closely together. But since each department has its own culture, tools, and processes, there will inevitably be moments where employees become lost in translation.
It's vital that you build up camaraderie among these sorts of teams before they get to work. Organize a small get together outside of work, at a bar or coffee shop. The simple act of having a conversation about how they operate will give everyone a chance to see the world through different professional eyes. Constructive feedback during tasks will need to be adopted as the norm. Utilizing software that everybody is familiar with, will inherently break down barriers and keep everyone on the same page. It all boils down to trust. Being able to understand where employees are coming from, their background and working closely while using tools that universally accepted in the team, ensures you get the best from each person involved.
In the previous decade, the business world turned a milestone. Finally, after many years, the world of business became infinite. There’s no such thing as a late night. No such thing as early morning. There is no such thing as weekends. The world of business revolves eternally, without ever stopping. We walked into this lifestyle without much fuss. Technology has allowed any business in the world to become international. Thus, work never stops. Employees should have the opportunities, to work late, work over their weekends and pretty much, access and complete their tasks anywhere in the world and at any time.
Overtime culture has thus, changed forever. Some people would like to for a couple of extra hours on days they feel energized. Some employees would rather continue working throughout their holiday abroad, completing tasks slowly over the course of their vacation. Giving employees a list of tasks that can be independently done, or perhaps done in collaboration outside of normal working hours, will give your workers a brilliant chance to get ahead. Those that take on more work, put more time into your business and show they have more passion and competence, should be rewarded. As the business owner, you clearly see who should be in line for a promotion.
Giving yourself the edge
Your motivation and determination are stirred by the opposition. Knowing that your rivals are nipping at your heels, is a sobering thought for any business owner. Giving yourself an edge over your competitors comes in many different forms. During natural disasters, many businesses will become as useless as an upside-down turtle. You can avoid this by resorting to your emergency power. But what are the benefits, portable generator vs standby generator? A portable generator is lightweight and can be moved around by hand. They usually range from hundreds of Watts to around 7,000 Watts. They require minimal maintenance, but they often only last for around 2,000 hours. Inherently, they are the cheaper option.
A standby generator is fixed in position and unable to be moved. However, they range from 7,000 to 150,000 Watts. You will need periodic maintenance from a certified technician. They can last from 10,000 to 20,000 hours depending on the level of usage. They are the more expensive choice. If you need power for just a few computers, then go with the portable generator. If you need to power your whole offices, such as room lights, computers, and air conditioning units, then the standby generator is best. Either way, you’re giving your business an edge and allowing your employees to not fall behind on deadlines.
Learn to relax
Do not underestimate the importance of a relaxation area in your business. Driving employees into the ground with constant work is not good for their mental health and nor is it great for your business. In a world that doesn’t stop working, employee burnout is a very real and present risk. It's a danger that every business owner must-have solutions for. The most effective way to calm employees is to get them out of the trenches. Give them space to unwind, take it easy, slow their thoughts down and take a breather. A relaxation area doesn’t have to be fancy. An area that’s not directly attached or in the working spaces, is key. Employees should not be reminded of the battle zone while they’re trying to forget it for a moment.
Soft fabric sofas in calming colors such as blue, green or yellow would be the most effective choice. Natural green, from large potted plants, would bring a new layer of calm. Make sure employees can look directly outside and have an unfettered vision to the sky. A coffee machine along with some snacks would be nice, to refresh employees before they come back to their workstation.
Are you providing a work area that gives your employees the best chances to release their best versions of themselves? Make sure their job responsibilities do not overlap, create new roles that didn’t previously exist to avoid this. Make sure that you have a flexible overtime policy, allowing employees to work from remote locations.
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it. If you want to find more articles like this, follow along with the Emma Dawn Blog by subscribing to my email newsletter. If you are looking for Business Consulting services check out the consulting page above.