I just finished writing an article for a client’s publication about how a company’s culture can affect its productivity. As I did my research, I came across some very interesting data that proves – NEWS FLASH – that employees like to work for companies that are positive, and that – NEWS FLASH – employees who like their employers are significantly more productive than those who don’t. (Thank you for watching Common Sense News here on the Obvious Network . . .)
Until recently, it seems like successful companies have had the same management playbook since the industrial revolution. It was based on profit-first thinking, deployed by micro managers and filled with survival-of-the-fittest logic that focused more on competition between employees than collaboration.
Studies show that this kind of management makes employees miserable. Health care expenditures at these high pressure employers are 50% higher, and the American Psychological Association says that more than $500 billion is lost each year because of workplace stress in the United States. A culture of fear leads to disengaged employees, and studies show that disengaged workers have significantly higher absenteeism, accidents and errors.
Maybe instead of managers focusing so much on motivating their people to become better employees, they should work a little harder at becoming better managers. Research suggests that doing this actually inspires employees to improve themselves. Everybody wins.
But it starts with changing the company’s culture. Workers who are afraid to fail will only do the bare minimum. Teams who don’t communicate openly are less efficient than those who do. Managers who deal in mistrust and intimidation have to constantly train new people when exhausted workers give up.
I am fortunate to work with many clients who have abandoned these nineteenth century tactics in favor of positive thinking and twenty-first century teamwork. Sometimes I think that this has been the tech industry’s biggest contribution to modern society (ignoring maniacal James Bond villains like Steve Jobs). These companies tend to focus more on solutions and less on blame. Sometimes this means they go out of business, but more and more we see happy, healthy, employee-focused, jeans-on-Fridays tech firms outperforming the more traditional members of the stock market. The king of the world is a grinning nerd in a hoodie who committed 99% of his wealth to philanthropy. Take that Henry Ford.
Empathy, forgiveness, trust and social engagement have become characteristics of successful companies. Positive thinking is good business and research proves it, as do the balance sheets. We’re not perfect here at Anchor, but we’re trying our best to embrace this new way of thinking. Give it a shot at your own business. Let’s plug into the positive together, and let’s see what we can accomplish when we look forward to going to work each day.