BOOK REVIEW & SUMMARY
Written by seasoned business strategy writer, Eric Chester, the book examines the process undertaken by the biggest companies in the world to ensure that their employees remain driven and passionate. With testimonies and interviews from CEOs and other high ranking executives of some of the biggest companies in the world, the book is meant to act as reference material for any organization looking to imbibe a workplace culture that yields the greatest dividends. The points outlined in the book can be adapted by any willing organization, irrespective of size, financial outlay or industry - one must simply scale down to the size of the company in view.
You can read the Book summary after the Visual Guide below...
Workplace culture is paramount in boosting the general morale of employees. A culture of fun and innovation will attract and retain the very best workers.
Seven Pillars of Workplace Culture
The culture that is instituted by the management goes a long way in determining the level of passion and commitment employees put towards the organization. A good work culture and environment drive employees towards efficient and optimal performance, to impress and boost the profile of the organization. A bad or negative work culture, however, will lead to the demoralization of employees; leading to a drop in productivity and innovation.
A positive work environment can be described as a house that is supported by 7 pillars, namely...
There must be a corresponding benefit accruing to the employees for their labor. Ranging from monetary compensation to non-monetary benefits and perks, successful companies ensure that their workers are sufficiently compensated for their diligent effort. Employees who perform exceptionally are given a larger compensation to encourage more diligence and serve as a standard for lower performing workers.
Great CEOs have realized that a key to ensuring employees remain driven, is to make sure the company’s core goals and values are the same as the employee’s. If the company stands for the same things as the employees there will be no distractions towards committing in entirety to the company. With the same goals as the company in mind, the worker sees himself as a stockholder in the organization and as such seeks to ensure peak production with all his heart. Make sure Individual goals = Company’s goals.
Building a workplace atmosphere that is welcoming, engaging and fun is a major key to boosting employee productivity. Employees are more likely to look forward to the workday in a place where there is a chance to relax and take a break when overwhelmed. Boring and monotonous environments are demoralizing and should be avoided to maintain employee productivity.
Any organization that gives it’s employees a chance to harness their skills with a view to improving them is more attractive to workers. Employees want work that challenges them to improve their skills and credentials rather than jobs that underutilizes their talents.
Good work should be rewarded in the workplace. Employees who are acknowledged for their good effort feel that their work makes a difference and as such will continue to put in peak effort. A failure to reward good performance will discourage employees from trying to outdo themselves, as there is no premium placed on excellence over mediocrity.
Employees should be given the chance to express their opinions, execute innovative ideas and manage their own projects. This independence leads to an upturn in company-wide innovation and begets huge returns in the long run. Micromanaging employees will lead to an atmosphere of dependency, one which discourages and buries creativity, talent, and innovation.
Channels of communication between management and staff must be open at all times. Employees who reckon that their ideas, opinions, and criticisms are taken into consideration by the management feel more committed to such an organization. There must be regular feedback on employee projects from the management and a two-way discussion on how to achieve set goals. This willingness to cooperate leads to a trust developing between management and employee, which is hard to come by in most workplaces where workers tiptoe around management.
Reward And Recognition in The Workplace
The concept of a reward in the workplace is a very powerful one and is given high priority by savvy executives. They recognize that when good performance is identified and rewarded, it is an incentive to repeat the same; failure to reward good performance leads to abandonment of such high standards.
Eric Chester has outlined what he defines as the four Ps of reward and recognition to encourage employees to maintain a high standard and morale.
Rewards must not be generic. Rather than just giving a broad commendation, executives should emphasize on why the recipient is deserving of such high praise. Point out specific aspects of their performance that should be continued and emulated by the rest of the workforce. Employees should feel the company recognizes them and their efforts on a personal level. Any reward that is given out should be tailored keeping the individual’s personal preferences in mind. It is unbelievable how much a personal touch increases the value of whatever prize or reward is handed out.
A measured system of rewarding must be instituted and enforced. If a manager makes the error of rewarding average performance with high praise, he is stuck with having to go to unreasonable heights to reward good performance. There must be a sliding scale for the amount of praise and reward being dished out. Do not dish out too little and do not make the error of giving too much.
The acknowledgment of efforts must come at the earliest possible instance. Rewards must be timely and in the moment - failing which the desired impact is not felt in its entirety. Reward projects upon completion and execution - the euphoria of such recognition carries into future projects. A delayed system of rewards, however, leads to a lag in productivity even after reward.
The essence of recognition is celebration amongst peers, so any type of recognition must be one that is in public. This serves dual purposes - the deserving individual is rewarded and it also encourages his/her colleagues to reach a level where their achievements are also recognised and duly rewarded.
Employees are the driving force of all organizations and they must achieve their fullest potential to ensure that the company remains profitable and productive. The challenge of keeping employees motivated and passionate about their jobs is one that touches on the culture prevalent in such companies. A culture that restricts employee interaction, limits the growth in worker’s talents and restricts creative input from workers - yielding poor returns for the company. A positive worker-friendly culture will breed employees that are totally committed to their works and see their tasks as a path to their individual goals.
Build a culture that encourages employee growth and watch your profits rise.