I’ve been here for over six months now (as a Digital Content Specialist for Mudd Digital), and there is no question that the biggest adjustment for me has been the office culture. I’ve worked at places where you are allowed 30 minutes for lunch and even 1 minute more is an offense worthy of a write-up. If you were to miss work because your car broke down, you could expect to find a write-up on your desk the next morning.
This kind of strict and unforgiving management style is what creates a negative office culture. In the simplest terms, if you don’t make the effort to scratch their back, they’re much less likely to scratch yours. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be accountability, but your employees will hold themselves accountable in the right work environment.
At Mudd, if I need to stay after hours to complete my work, I don’t even think twice about it. I’m not counting down the hours until 5:00, because I enjoy what I do and where I work.
Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong impression and think that all we do is screw around when we should be working. I’m not saying that you should let chaos reign in the workplace, but a few small but significant tweaks to your managerial philosophy could prove to be enormously beneficial in the long run.
Hire self-motivated and team-oriented individuals
Surround yourself with winners. Personally, I hate losing more than I like winning. Like the rest of the employees here at Mudd, I have no interest in doing the bare minimum. Once I clear one hurdle, it’s on to the next one. And I’m always willing to help out my co-workers when needed. When everyone is willing to lend a helping hand, even if it doesn’t necessarily fall under their responsibilities, you’ll have a much more cohesive and successful team.
Let your employees do what you hired them to do
No one wants to be micro-managed, and I’d like to imagine that few people take pleasure in micro-managing others. No one up in Mudd Digital is constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure I’m staying on task. Here, you’re trusted to do what you were hired to do. There are clear consequences for not completing your work, but fear is not the chief motivator. This practice shows your employees that you have faith and trust in their ability to get the job done. If you made the right hire, you shouldn’t have to babysit them.
Keep a low-stress working environment
I will admit that some people do their best work under pressure, but I doubt that is true for everyone. More often than not, if you keep applying pressure to your employees, they’re going to crumble at some point. I still have deadlines and target dates for when my work needs to be completed, but no one is breathing down my neck. And when all of our work is done after a long week, sometimes we reward ourselves with a department lunch outing or an after-work trip to the bowling alley.
Office culture can often make or break your business. Loyalty is built on employees who feel valued and appreciated by their employers. Creating a strong work environment is the first step towards securing the continued success of your business.
Have you had success implementing similar conditions? Let us know in the comments!