A strong company culture plays an essential role in any organization’s success, as this blog frequently points out. Regardless of how committed you may be to offering quality products and services, if you don’t have an engaged workforce, then you won’t be able to turn your vision into a reality. A positive company culture promotes engagement and boosts retention.
However, it’s important to realize that some elements of an organization’s culture that may seem positive can actually have negative consequences in the long run. For instance, while it is important for employees to work hard, when everyone at a company is a workaholic, they’ll eventually burn out.
If you notice that workaholism is an element of your company culture, then you should take the following steps to correct the problem:
Set An Example
It’s not uncommon for employees to mirror the behavior of the team leaders and company owners. This is important to keep in mind. If you work too hard, then your employees may start to believe that you expect them to do the same.
This doesn’t have to happen. Instead, you should take breaks, use your vacation days, and work reasonable hours. This sets a good example for everyone else at the company.
Communicate Important Policies
The odds are good that you’re not the only leader at your company. You need to ensure that the other leaders and managers also understand what they can do to prevent workaholic behavior among the employees.
For example, some people may be more likely to work themselves to the point of burnout when they don’t have opportunities to get away from work completely. In our digital age, employees often receive work-related emails and texts even when they’re technically not supposed to be working.
It’s a good idea to establish policies to ensure that your employees have time to distance themselves from work. In regards to the aforementioned example, this could involve telling other leaders at the company that they should not send emails or other messages after working hours unless it is an urgent matter.
Don’t Reward the Wrong Behavior
Rewarding employees for their contributions is a smart idea. Research consistently shows that when employees feel appreciated, they’ll be more likely to be engaged on the job.
However, rewarding employees could backfire if you praise the wrong behavior. For instance, some companies have policies in which employees are rewarded for working long hours. Such a policy sends a clear message: “We want you to arrive early and stay late more often.”
Coordinate with other managers to determine how they reward their employees. If it ever seems like a manager is rewarding behavior that could result in burnout, ask them to modify the policy.
You might also want to set limits. For example, some CEOs of tech startups (where workaholic behavior is common) have actually capped the amount of overtime that employees are permitted to work. This has yielded greater productivity.
Educate Your Employees
Your company probably hosts classes and training sessions for employees. You can use these as an opportunity to help your employees to better understand why they need to give themselves a break. Just as you might ask your employees to attend a safety training session, you might also request that they attend a training session that focuses on the dangers of overwork. Additionally, this session could highlight the surprising benefits that companies can enjoy when employees allow themselves to step away from work.
Define Success in the Right Terms
Too many people fall prey to a workaholic mindset because they’ve learned to equate working longer hours with achieving greater success. They think of succeeding in the same way as they think of running a marathon. The more miles you run, then the closer you will be to reaching your goals.
That’s a vast oversimplification that doesn’t genuinely apply to growing a company. While putting in a lot of hours may be a factor that contributes to success, it could also potentially result in lower morale and high employee turnover.
You should cultivate an organizational culture in which employees thoroughly understand what success means in the context of your goals. For instance, if you run a startup that offers a new fintech app, then success could mean acquiring a certain number of new users each year. Achieving this goal might not necessarily necessitate working longer hours. Instead, it could require strategizing effectively so that your product will attract more users on a consistent basis in the most efficient manner possible. Instead of thinking of success as a result of hard work, your employees can learn to think of it as the result of smart work.
You shouldn’t overlook the value of addressing this issue. It can be easy to overlook workaholic behavior if you convince yourself that it will ultimately improve your company’s productivity. However, in the long run it can have a negative impact on the overall company culture. These tips can help you to avoid such consequences.