Article: 5 Steps to Building Workplace Citizenship

#Employee Engagement

5 Steps to Building Workplace Citizenship

If Recruitment and Retention are two sides of the same coin, what is it the one thing, that attunes individuals to a workplace, day after day? What drives them?
5 Steps to Building Workplace Citizenship

Competitors can be found at every alternate footstep and with the emerging number of funded start-ups, the requisition of talent has today become a necessity. A race that is becoming fiercer day by day. In such demanding times, how do organizations ensure that every employee places the company’s growth before self? Wait! Is that even possible? What has the company done to deserve this? Tough questions indeed!

Every team is like a puzzle. Dynamic and challenging. Some may love solving problems rationally, while some react with positivity towards impromptu challenges. Some may be methodical and organized, while some would prefer to simply go with the flow. A group of diverse individuals coming together in the same room, working towards a common goal is indeed a beautiful sense of accomplishment for any organization. But the aggregative success can majorly be determined by ‘How long they last amicably within the organization’, as opposed to ‘How much monetary capital can they help the organization earn’. 

“A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other” – Simon Sinek. A quote that beautifully resonates and sums up what it truly means, to become a part of a larger picture. Every employee seeks an intangible sense of purpose as compared to materialistic perks. More of “Why am I here?”, rather than “How much can I get?” and thus, the term ‘Workplace Citizenship’ can simply be defined by how much an individual is personally invested in an organization. An emotion that goes beyond the call of duty. A positive environment where employees find it a source of joy to step out of their comfort zones, and accept everyday challenges at work, head on.

A steady and long-term learning process that helps you as an organization, take baby steps to establish a culture that drives individuals to outperform themselves, without overworking. That is the daunting task ahead really. Here are 5 simple ways to build workplace citizenship.

 #1: Stronger Cross-Functional Teams – A Bond That Is Binding

When offsite get formalized and celebrations at the workplace lack the ‘fun’ element, organizations need to take note. Advocating that teams indulge in doing activities together beyond the workplace is a wise approach. Think of your last offsite. Were you taken to an exotic location and then put into a conference room to discuss numbers and set business targets with an evening of fun? What if fun and work were separate? Comparably, a California based job review site conducted a survey of 36,000 tech industry workers about their work relationships. The results indeed come as a pleasant surprise. (1) Sharing lunch together, badminton plans to post work, or even watching a movie over the weekend, a cordial friendship that makes work feel like a second home.  

#2: Leveraging a Culture That Respects Emotional Intelligence

Organizations that believe in striking a work-life-integration in the lives of their employees, prosper better. It’s all about building the right connections and instilling a sense of giving back – To the organization, to the society, and more importantly, to oneself. A feel-good factor that comes from a pat on the back post a successful pitch, a thank you note for going out of their way, or even a surprise work anniversary celebration! While this is not new, what one needs to answer is ‘What are you rewarding?’ Is it performance or behavior? Are you paying people to perform and then some more to do their jobs better or are you rewarding people who display the behaviors needed to succeed? Plus, being fair while doing so in a larger organization is something one needs to keep checks on.

#3: Working For The Future Without Fretting 

Employees would work towards aligning their personal goals with that of the organization, only, if they feel a sense of belonging. Productivity born out of the passion to work, whilst safeguarding the company’s best interests, leaves a lasting impact. And reaching the level where each employee feels a sense of ownership happens when they get treated as an equal, instead of a subordinate. The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey (2) stated that “Employees want jobs that have meaning and provide them with a sense of purpose.” One achieves that by being transparent with people and telling them exactly how their role makes a difference to the entire company. It’s a tough task. But worth the shot. 

#4: Regular Feedback v/s Performance Reviews

Investing in Performance Management Systems does help determine conscientious appraisals. But imagine the milestones that the company can achieve, if everyone receives a result oriented evaluation at regular intervals. Even if the feedback comes from within the team, it adds immense value to their learning curve within the organization. In turn, equipping teams to battle every challenge thrown their way, be it numbers or escalations. 

#5: Build Autonomy and Inculcate Adaptability

Psychologist Herman Miller explains that something as simple as recognizing and allowing space for the needs of introverts and extroverts, permitting each to choose what works for them, can facilitate greater comfort, less stress, and an exponential increase in productivity.

(3) Seek opinions and refrain from belittling offbeat ideas. Engage individuals to become involved in the process of decision making. Flexibility at the workplace is what attracts as well as retains many employees. A workplace that allows creativity to prosper, encourages experimentation with stereotypes to produce better results, and helps in nurturing an individual’s overall personality, is always more welcoming. 

If micromanaging has to be done away with, once a fortnight will be apt enough to make a quick check if the workload is being delegated appropriately.  If the scale of responsibilities reflects on the higher side, the rewards and recognition must also be firmly in place to garner the well-deserved acknowledgment. Over and above being on the same frequency of a value system that generates a sense of belonging, perks, and incentives at the workplace are also proving to become a major source of retention. It’s time we make our organizations not just customer friendly, but also a place which provides a much needed and understanding employee experience. Managing the people right on a day-to-day basis makes all the difference. 

Data References 
1. Why you feel loyal to your co-workers 
2. Millenial Survey 2016- Deloitte 
3. Employee Autonomy - key to successful workplace collaboration

Topics: Employee Engagement

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