Featured Blog | How to create a healthy work culture
Last month, our Talent Manager, Beatriz Lourenco, was featured in the Portuguese publication for HR professionals, Pessoas, where she shared her thoughts on the ingredients of a healthy work culture. She kindly agreed to let us republish her translated article to our blog.
Healthy work cultures can look different and have differing interpretations depending on the context, communication and ways of working. However, there are things in common between work cultures usually considered healthy and, by consequence, attractive for talent.
As a human resources professional, I believe in a culture of responsibility and I like to promote it with those that work with me, either directly or indirectly. For me, a culture of responsibility is based on the promotion of autonomy.
This is because I believe that healthy cultures need to have high levels of trust and that every single employee should be treated as a responsible adult that they are (or should be). Beyond interesting benefits, fancy offices or schedule flexibility, we all appreciate being trusted and having an active voice in the workplace. For this, effort is necessary from multiple people in the organisation - but how do we get there?
Everything starts with quality hiring. Quality can mean different things from organisation to organisation, however, the right processes should be created in order to attract and evaluate the talent that is more aligned with the values of the organisation and that could add, or help maintain, value to the current culture.
It sounds like something basic, but the truth is that there are still many organisations that don’t know how to communicate well internally. Establishing the right mechanisms to give and receive feedback in a regular and honest way is essential for the development and wellbeing of the employees. Also, for these mechanisms to work, there is a need to train people on how to share feedback in an empathetic, constructive and adequate way. Besides feedback, there should be general openness to freely share opinions and ideas, without those thoughts being wrongly received.
With the rapid growth of organisations, there is the tendency to formulate controls and processes to help scaling occur sustainably. However, creating controls and processes isn’t always the solution. For example, long processes for approvals on the development of new initiatives or tight controls in terms of holidays are common examples of an attempt to implement a methodical approach that very often ends up being very uneffective. Naturally, all organisations need processes, but a few questions should be taken into consideration each time we want to add a new one.
- By creating this new process or control, what problem am I solving?
- What value am I adding to the experience and wellbeing of my employees?
If the proposed process is not associated with a lack of trust, the solution might not necessarily be to add new mechanisms.
In summation, the success of an organisation depends on promoting spaces for autonomy and trust, and for employees to be able to grow and progress in their careers. The pandemic we are living through showed us a different perspective on remote working. It forced us, in most cases, a new dimension of responsibility that brings with it more freedom too.
As such, we need to continue incentivizing this new path and monitor our steps in order to ensure that the future of our organisations is going in the right direction - in support of the above ideals that create a healthy work culture.