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How to Build a Better Work Environment

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To build a better work environment for all employees, companies must create a sense and a reality of belonging and connection that makes everyone happy contributing to and benefiting from the productivity of the firm.

BELONGING
When building a company culture it is important to establish a foundational why for the firm. Having a shared goal and idea that resonates across the organization from top to bottom is step one in making sure employees feel like they are employed by their firm for a purpose. Belonging is tied to authentic people and authentic ideals. People are very perceptive and concerned when leadership is being disingenuous or misleading about a company’s plans or future. Be sure to regularly touch base with teams and employees about goals and objectives.

It is not enough to stop at just a stated vision for the firm. Being transparent about how all parts of the firm specifically work together to achieve this vision is critical to build a better work environment. Making sure that individuals understand their key contributions to the vision gives them purpose in their day-to-day work. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, says, Most of the greatest companies in the world also have great purpose…Having a deeper, more transcendent purpose is highly energizing for all of the various interdependent stakeholders.”

CONNECTION
How separate are the teams? Do people get to work cross-functionally with partners on other teams or are they siloed into their function? When teams get to partner together across the firm it creates a sense of comradery and helps build a singular focus across the organization – everyone has the same goal in mind. Communication is a key piece to both personal and professional success and is a catalyst to build a better work environment.

Connection and collaboration helps a company culture to grow and individuals to build relationships and friendships within the organization more fluidly. It also helps when a company’s mission resonates with the employees. Having employees feel the work they are doing is aligned with their morality and passions is another way to build a stronger bottom-up culture.

PRODUCTIVITY
If you agree with the assumption that people are naturally curious and innovative, make sure employees at every level of your firm feel like they are being challenged in their work. This does not mean to overwhelm them but to instead make sure that day in and day out people feel like they are learning and developing new skills.

Complacency is the enemy of progress. As soon as individuals feel like they are no longer learning or contributing they will look to find something that can fill that void. It could be another internal role in your firm or a position with a new firm. Challenging and interesting is not enough to keep people engaged. You also have to make sure that career growth and upward trajectory are clearly defined and attainable for your employees.

Smith Hanley Associates’ Market Research Executive Recruiter, Daniel Wilberschied, says it best, “To build a better work environment is not just a nice-to-have, it is integral to the success and continuity of your business. A strong company culture attracts top talent and retains that talent for the long-term.”

Reach out to Daniel at dwilberschied@smithhanley.com to talk about your career or your hiring needs in Market Research and Consumer Insights.

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