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Now that the foundation for a great work culture has been laid, the next aspect of building a great culture was an exponential experience for me when I came to that point of my career where you look upwards for your senior/seniors to step by step take you through the nuances of your day to day work within the guidelines provided for your role and responsibility.
The stark reality hit me when I was provided with the guidelines and at the same time was given the Freedom of thought to get things going. I was told I need to think through, generate, clear my path set my pace to get the task/s done. All this while there was always a helping hand around just in case things veered off course. I was nudged, cajoled to develop/hone my ability to self-
Before I move ahead let me share an episode which truly deserves to be mentioned here as we are talking about building/having a great culture. I had been called for an interview by a fortune 500 company. As we all know waiting for an interview is something which even a lion heart dreads.
Well here I was a nervous wreck waiting for that moment, then this tall strapping gentleman walks towards me with a pleasant smile and easy yet commanding gait, hand extended Hi I am ………, the Managing Director and I look towards him, reciprocating him gesture by gesture, Good morning "Sir" and then it happens. He stops in his tracks, giving me perplexed look and I go weak in the knees worrying where did I go wrong. No no my name is………. He once again repeats, and I again almost blurted right "Sir". This continues for a while before I was made to realize that my interview cannot proceed further till I get it right i.e. everybody in that company is addressed by their
What I am trying to emphasize here is that we can very well imagine the culture of that company where the Top boss loves the sound of his name and encourages his team to follow the same by walking the talk. This not only brings about openness in the organization but allows one and all to connect to each other, making the hierarchy easily approachable, without diminishing the authority of those in charge. This is a bonus aspect for an organization to implement and reap benefits throughout as part of their building a great culture.
I would here again like to share something which I experienced firsthand, as I had only heard about it so far as I was a fresher at that point of time. I walked into the room of GM overlooking around few hundred employees, who upon seeing me walking in immediately kept aside the work that she was engaged in and stood up, greeted me with a smile and a handshake asking me to be seated. I was perplexed by her undivided attention throughout our brief interaction. This left a lasting impression on my budding mind, I understand this as the true demonstration of an Open door policy which implies not only to freedom accorded to an employee to walk in through a door at any time but goes beyond that by way of treatment meted after that.
That said next aspect is something which everyone in an organization is both anticipative and apprehensive about at the same time. That’s right its time when your whole years’ efforts are dissected so to say and your future prospects are dependent on the person who holds the scalpel.
Appraisal time! You can’t run away nor can you let go. Well like everyone else I also went through same anxiety when time came. But here was a norm rather than an exception, I was about to come face to face. My senior informed me a day in advance about the impending exercise termed Self-
Next day I went for my appraisal not as something of formality knowing fully well where I stood, thanks to a culture which had incorporated transparency in the appraisal system leaving no space for ambiguity to seep in at any point of time during the most sensitive time in an employee’s work life.
Surprises didn’t end here, as I realized that there was another aspect which made working in this organization such a pleasure. It was an energy which permeated throughout the organization keeping everyone morale boosted at all times. The reason of this energy was not something which would attract a scientist to investigate but the source of the same was nothing but encouragement everyone kept giving and receiving. Puzzled! Well a simple pat on the back, a high energy High Five, a simple shake hand, courtesy like saying thank you, in short an instant recognition for any job executed well and that too at any point of time, in any of the mentioned forms by one’s peers, juniors and seniors and that too coming from one’s heart with sincerity attached with. Rewards in the form of plaques, promotions, appreciation letters, medallion’s and the best of them all personalized awards can also do wonders. Sounds good doesn’t it!
These though small but powerful gestures are far more effective than rewards in the form of money, gifts etc. Pick up any of the most sought after organizations where one would dream of working, and you would not be surprised that it is not monetary or benefits in other forms but instantaneous recognition in much simple avatar which keeps the employees bonded to that organization. Gratification is something which everyone seeks in his or her life, and if you find it in the organization you spend a greater part of your life and from the people you are surrounded by, frankly speaking one cannot ask for more.
Believe you me, some of the best organizations in the world are run on the métier of Reward & Recognition.
As it is rightly said by James Sinegal,
"When employees are happy, they are your very best brand ambassadors."
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