TGIM: Leave It To Your Employees

21 Nov

Stylish and Creative OfficeToday we’re back with our TGIM series, or Thank Goodness It’s Monday.  Each Monday our posts will focus on employee engagement and we hope to hear your thoughts on Twitter using the #TGIM hashtag or with a reply to us @SageHRMS.

The atmosphere of a company can indirectly influence almost every corner of the operational landscape. Workplace traditions, employee interactions, management structures and the sense of creative and intellectual freedom all impact company culture and drive both motivation and productivity.

So look around your office and ask yourself: Does this place have a unique “culture” to it? What is fun or unique about your environs? Most importantly, how can you, as a manager, influence this culture?

The truth is you can only do so much – it’s an unfortunate byproduct of your managerial position. You can’t just tell people to do something unique or creative. However, you can develop an environment conducive to such an end. Implement a more “horizontal” management structure, for example. Allow workers to take the initiative on new tasks and incorporate a more democratic administrative process.

Executives have to decide what decision-making method is going to work best and acknowledge that they themselves don’t have all the answers. Sometimes, by virtue of individual hobbies or extracurricular interests, an accountant may have a good idea for human resources, or vice versa. Encourage cross-department cooperation and engagement.

Google, for example, has maintained a flat management structure across its more than 24,000 employees. This strategy has virtually eliminated hierarchy and created a company culture where no task is too small or outside one’s purview. Google’s chief culture officer has even established “culture clubs,” wherein employees get together to talk about issues within their country, community or office and explore ways to improve things, Inc. reports.

Everyone has a weakness, even CEOs. It’s important for HR managers to recognize this if they want to influence a strong company culture. Instead of getting bogged down with individual shortcomings, focus on core strengths and allow flaws to improve themselves over time.

Of course, you can’t talk about a company’s cultural atmosphere without talking about its actual physical environment. Think: What’s better for creative and intellectual thought – a giant soundless room with rows upon rows of bland little cubicles, or a colorful loft with comfortable seating and open interiors?

A workspace’s physical character has a tremendous, albeit subtle, impact on the mood of employees. While not every company needs to adopt the Silicon Valley approach of placing a pool table in the middle of the office, it’s important to consider the conditions in which people are toiling away at a given project – be it creative brainstorming or number crunching.

How else can managers encourage a unique and charasmatic company? Let us know what you think on Twitter by tweeting with the hashtag #TGIM, or reply to us @SageHRMS.

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