The 4 Pillars of Unique Workplace Cultures

People want more than just a job.

They want a role which provides them the opportunity to use their brains in a way which offers them autonomy, mastery and purpose.

A unique workplace can offer them all this.

Here are some pillars that can help you create a unique environment for your employees to perform to the best of their ability by setting the scene for great work:

1. Physical Health

Employees who are stressed and feel busy often make less effort on sleep, nutrition and exercise which exacerbates the situation.

Consistently sleep deprived individuals have been shown to continuously decline in performance but after only a short period of sleep deprivation they fail to notice the drop in their performance.

Workplaces can help employees improve their sleep and performance by providing them opportunities to see more sunlight, move a little more and eat well.

Studies show that employees whose offices have windows get on average 46 minutes more sleep per night. This is significant!

Just 10 minutes of exercise per day can dramatically improve the quality and the consistency of your sleep. The first reason for this is an obvious one which is that exercise tires the body which increases the likelihood of sleepiness later in the day. A bigger reason however is that when you exercise, you reduce stress, which helps you wind down more easily when you look to go to sleep.

Are you offering employees reminders and incentives to up their movement like a benefits pack including a personal trainer or step counter?

By providing your employees with high fibre and high protein options at lunch you could help their afternoon focus and also their sleep quality. A study has shown that one group allowed to eat whatever they wished versus a high protein / high fibre group took on average of 12 extra minutes to get to sleep. 

2. Optimal Mindset

Employees suffering from low morale are often speaking to themselves negatively, failing to see the positives in situations and are often too immersed in thinking to see clearly.

Offering mindful opportunities to employees at work could help them to improve creativity, memory and stress levels because the changes it causes in grey matter in the amygdala, pre-frontal cortex and hippocampus (different areas of the brain).

Companies that also place emphasis on soft skills and emotional intelligence are doing their employees a big favour. It has been shown that 75% of job successes are predicted by the following (please note the absence of IQ):

  1. Optimism Levels
  2. Social Support
  3. Ability to frame stress as a challenge and not a threat

Many workplaces offer a counselling option for employees who wish to engage or offer them an opportunity to engage in performance surgery, both of which can help them to improve their self-talk to improve the aforementioned optimism levels.

3. Clear Communication

Employees can feel anxious at work due to their perceived inability to deal positively with inter personal relationships. They often feel lost because they don’t know how to communicate clearly their true thoughts in a confident and natural manner.

Assertiveness training which refers to an ability to communicate clearly needs, wants and emotions can vastly improve employee wellbeing and company productivity. Employees feel empowered enough to say,

“I’m at full capacity right now so I can’t say yes to this unless we agree on something else that can be delayed”.

Such phrases help avoid employee burnout and avoid deadlines not being met.

Facilitating employees to speak in a confident and engaged manner will help them to sell their positive ideas at work more freely. This can be facilitated by encouraging a different employee to take the lead on a daily/weekly meeting. It has a potential knock-on effect to develop the individual’s self-esteem.

Lastly, in this section we must look at charisma which is helping employees to develop their own kind of magnetism. It could be by telling the story of their function within the company in an engaging way to enable cross team engagement and understanding (maybe a description to be included in a newsletter bulletin). 

4. Personal Productivity

Employees often suffer from low energy or burnout because they lack clarity of purpose. They may be also neglecting to take appropriate actions between intense bouts of work for their recovery.

Looking for ways to enable employees to have greater personal productivity benefits them inside and outside work. More done with less energy expended. A good example here is to develop an email best practices guide e.g. encouraging employees to enter their inbox with a mindset of action and not curiosity.

It’s also important to think about the purpose you offer each employee. Let’s take a shoe manufacturer as an example. Why not hire employees as a process engineer. This means putting an emphasis that you’re hired to improve the process of manufacturing the shoes. You’re not paid solely to manufacture the shoes like a cog in a wheel. See the subtle difference the job emphasis gives to employees to use their brain more?

Lastly, could you encourage employees to be disciplined in how they rejuvenate during evenings, weekends and holidays? We will rarely look back and wish we had worked harder. In fact, strategic rejuvenation can lead to better long-term productivity, improved ideas and more likelihood to avoid burnout. Some companies enter 5-a side soccer leagues as a way for employees to get to know the person outside the ordinary work environment and it offers further camaraderie building opportunities.

Please remember that the biggest waste of all in business is the waste of employee’s potential or skills.

For more details on how we can guide you to a unique workplace culture based on new and healthy habits and process formation then make sure to check out this page


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