“We are family” is the common mantra on the tongues of all CEOs, chairmen, or in most cases, the HR heads. Yes, it’s a great notion after all, you spend eight hours every day away from your family in the office.
There’s more underneath the tip of the iceberg. As an HR person, the best approach is to “think out of the box” when promoting a family-like culture. The process begins at the grass-root level.
If you have your hands full with promoting a “family-like culture,” this blog is just for you. So keep reading to find out more.
Keep An Open Door Policy – In A True Sense
The way people pay lip service, the phrase “ we are family” is the same as “ I have an open door policy.” The phrase is more of a welcoming ritual, and it’s a phrase only to impress new employees on their first day at work. Later, it goes out of the window.
Just think how disappointing it is when you head to your boss’s room only to find him hooked to his laptop. You knock on the door only to receive a gesture of dismissal in response. Unfortunately, that’s the nearest to an open-door policy in most companies.
Although the phrase is casually swept under the carpet, an open-door policy helps promote that “good vibe.” This good vibe is very important for a family-like culture. An open-door policy means employees are entitled to express their opinions and grievances to their immediate boss or upper management.
After all, nothing is hidden within the family, or is it? However, only allowing feedback doesn’t justify the open-door policy. Real justice is served when suggestions from employees are implemented and their grievances are addressed. Hence, an open-door policy leads to a positive mood, high morale and candid work culture.
Time-Out Sessions – Rest, Regroup, Recreate, and Refresh
Where an open-door policy helps break the ice, a time-out session helps eliminate the burnout and shoo away the “brain fog.” A time-out session helps reboot the brain and create some “light” moments. Moments like comedy, hi-fives, laughs, puns, and much more.
There are many ways to have time-out sessions. They could be something as simple as reading books and sharing the silence to something which raises the bar a little higher, such as a one-on-one gaming bout on the PS4.
Yes, old-timers don’t like the idea of a PS4 in the office. However, organizations are unlearning these corporate norms, blurring the lines between work and home. This makes people feel at home at work.
Let me also explain the importance of these time-out sessions. These sessions are not just a way to “blow off some steam.” They help a person broaden the horizons of a person’s brain, thus promoting creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
Hence, time-out sessions are not just a milestone on the road to the family culture. These sessions also help rewire the brain to enable creativity and freshen up for the tasks which lie ahead.
Woe To Sexism And Racism – Promote An Inclusive Environment
Being a part of a family, you share practically everything – ups, downs, happiness and grief.
After all, the philosophy of a family revolves around “collectivism.” However, there is a sad reality to society, especially corporate culture.
Some people are shunned socially and looked on with emotions of contempt, detest and hate. This is because they belong to a particular race, gender, or class. The same practice prevails in corporate culture.
For instance, white bosses take great pleasure in bashing their black employees mainly because of a superiority complex of “white supremacy.” Black employees are usually underpaid and underappreciated for their work. In some severe cases, they are also the victim of allegations of theft or incivility, even before a thorough investigation is done.
Regarding gender bias and sexism in the workplace, men consider women inferior. They talk women down and question their authority. Men even bully women during board meetings; in some severe cases, they also pass on “suggestive” remarks. At times, women also face “unwelcoming” advances from men.
The problem with such a culture is that it promotes distrust, leads to people with temper issues and may even boil up to instances of incivility. All this translates into; Dysfunctional teams, depressed employees, higher absenteeism, and inevitably, high turnover.
With high turnover, the question remains; how do you intend to build a family when you don’t have people? This is why, as an HR person, you must identify people who bear the ideologies of racism and sexism and take action against them immediately; only then can you hope for the inclusive and family-oriented culture you desire.
The Ending Note
Turing the words “we are family” into reality is tedious. However, it’s not impossible, and the fruits of your effort will have a long-term effect on your organization. A family culture improves productivity and lowers absenteeism and employee turnover.
This helps not only strengthen your foundations and improve operational efficiency but also helps turn you into the “employer brand” necessary to attract the best talent from the market. In the long run, it helps you win the talent war.
Hence, work towards the goal and create a family-oriented culture in its true sense.