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8 Things Only People Who Work In A Fun And Productive Culture Do

8 Things Only People Who Work In A Fun And Productive Culture Do

Everyone wants to work in a fun and productive culture but what are the characteristics of such a place? What do the people who work in these places do that’s different?

Here are 8 pointers to what makes for a fun and productive culture

1. They start with enthusiasm

People who work in fun and productive places are excited about the role and the company. According to start-up CEO Jenna Fernandes, leaders have a responsibility to make this attitude a key part of hiring after ensuring new recruits have the technical capability. Having people who are excited at the start makes a whole lot more sense than trying to build it later.

2. They know what they’re working for

Great organisations have really clear visions and shared gaols that make it easy for people to understand and engage in. A great example is Amazon’s:

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Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

If people hare confused by a wordy and unclear set of goals then it will act against them taking action. Clear vision and goals direct action and productivity and help create a good work culture.

3. They communicate with their bosses

Fun places are where the bosses are genuinely approachable. Sometimes you need to put fun back into workplaces – which will be harder than building it in from the clean slate of start-up – and a first step is making sure communication is two way.

Communication with leaders needs to be informal. Too often bosses rely on the set piece town hall type meetings. Two way communication works better in smaller informal and fun settings where staff will be less afraid of asking questions or offering an opinion.

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4. They get to know their bosses

It’s no fun working for an anonymous person who hides in their office. As well as great communication, leaders need to be open about who they are and what they are doing. They need to be themselves – real, authentic and productive as well.

This is extremely important for leaders, particularly entrepreneurs in the midst of starting up, as they can set a pattern of leading by example and embed it in their work culture.

5. They work flexibly

One of Jayson Demer’s strategies to encourage fun and productivity is not to focus on schedules but to enable staff to work in the way that best suits their productivity whether that’s some days at home, flexitime or just odd shifts. This has to be underpinned by trust between co-workers and managers. Old school managers who don’t understand what they’re staff are doing will manage on people’s presence not their productivity regardless of whether they’ve a team of night owls or larks.

Flexible working helps individuals balance other demands in their lives particularly family responsibilities. It’s more common in European countries like Germany where worker productivity is high where a more rounded view of the worker is taken.

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6. They don’t distract themselves with social media

Productive people don’t spend all day distracting themselves with social media updates. Cyber-loafing for is the disengaged and unproductive.

This was well illustrated in a BBC documentary on Germany where the reporter was rebuked for using his smart-phone in the workplace. Interruptions, even those we create ourselves, have been shown to take huge amounts of time as restarting whatever was being done takes time and is therefore a drain productivity as well as showing a lack of engagement.

A fun work culture is a sure way to mitigate against social media distraction.

7. They play together

Great offices are not just well decorated and beautifully design they have spaces where staff can take a break and play together. Here decompressing from the intensity of work can happen by for instance a simple game of table soccer. It’s opportunity to build bonds and well as get a healthy mental break.

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Humans aren’t machines and so well organized downtime activities that inject fun into routine breaks is a good way to balance stress and pressure.

Play can extend outside office hours whether that’s forming a sports team with colleagues or holding exciting off-site social events.

8. They do stuff outside work

Whether as a team or as individuals people from fun and productive places get involved in activities outside work. That could be volunteering in a local community project such as decorating an older people’s home or creative personal projects such as photography or writing.

Those with wide interests are likely to be fun and more inspiring to others. If all you ever see are the same walls of the same office you’ll not have a lot of fresh ideas to keep the place exciting.

And that is the key difference – fun and productivity begin and end with excitement and you won’t find it in other work cultures.

Featured photo credit: Highways Agency via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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