When companies try and force employees to do something, they generally create a policy around it, and create a process to make sure they do it. Thus, they end up with employees doing the bare minimum to follow protocol. What if you wanted your employees to go above and beyond their objectives?
For example: What if you were managing a customer service center? In order for the organization to meet its objectives, breaks need to be scheduled so only one person was unavailable at a time. Now imagine if people ignored the lunch breaks and took them at the same time as their friends. How do you convince them to adhere to the scheduled lunch breaks? Most companies would create a policy where repeat offences would result in initiating the progressive discipline process.
Culture Cannot “Just” be Regulated
Creating a rule doesn’t necessarily make people “want” to follow it. It certainly communicates that you want them to follow it though. Why not create a culture of making sure things get done? In the aforementioned example, instead of creating rules and regulations, create a culture of client success and define what that looks like. It’s going to include a lot more than scheduled breaks, but that will be part of it. People don’t do things just because you tell them to, they do them because they want to. Stop telling people to do things and make them want to do it.
I recently had coffee with a colleague who works for a company that fosters a culture of safety. Before each meeting they have a “safety moment” where they discuss something they’ve noticed regarding safety. They also have a lot of fun strategies to engage people on the topic of workplace safety. My colleague even confessed that she has found herself identifying things in her everyday life that could be safer, and identifies what appears to be a “cheesy” company policy has actually benefited her everyday life.
It’s a Top-Down Thing
Culture is fostered best when employees see the benefit and they believe in it. How would you explain to employees that they can’t all take breaks at the same time, but the management team sits in the lunch room and eats together every day? If you’re the management team, your clients are your employees, so someone should probably be available all the time right? (Including the overnight shift.)
Culture is not directed at your clients, it penetrates every aspect of your business.
About the Author
Scott Keenan is a Recruiter for Priority Personnel Inc., with several years’ experience recruiting in both the public and private sectors in addition to marketing and social media roles. As a self-described professional cynic, he provides unique insight into modern recruiting from both the recruiter and candidate’s perspective. You can follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn