Rise and shine! It’s your first day on the job. You’re a little nervous, and you probably didn’t get enough sleep. You have infinite expectations about how your everyday work-life will be, how you’ll collaborate with your teammates, and the challenges that await you. You’re like a baby that’s excited to taste solid food for the first time.
Wait, a baby? You’ve been here before. You’ve chewed on your fair bit of company lunches, and been in the tallest of weeds. In fact, a month in and you’ve completely adapted to your new workplace. Frankly, you understand how things work here and you kinda like it. People are excited that you’ve joined and your smallest accomplishments are being celebrated.
It’s now 3 months in and the stress levels are high. Deadlines. Angry stakeholders. Uncomfortable meetings with colleagues and managers.
6 months and you’re already thinking of quitting. The word “toxic” starts showing up a lot more. On coffee breaks, you find yourself complaining with a coworker about the company’s direction and how decisions were taken. “Ugh… It’s Monday” becomes a lot more common. Sure, you’re “in” but how come you’re thinking of wanting out already?
Leaders aren’t there to keep individuals on track, but to help them put on wings.
The above is sadly way too common. In fact, it’s almost the expected trajectory nowadays. How come toxic, disappointing cultures are so common? We constantly celebrate “modern” work culture on social media platforms, yet fail to apply the basics of a happy workplace within our own borders. What’s stopping us? The answer is us.
We’ve always let this happen. Classism has been a piece of our existence puzzle from the very beginning. We served our emperors although we knew it wasn’t doing us any good. As leaders, We promised the roads to equality only to forgot those promises at the corners of power and status.
We don’t need strong leaders, we need compassionate and empathetic humans.
What can we do to finally change this? And is there a roadmap towards a healthy work culture? Not really. There’s no recipe or definite steps. To build happy workplaces, we need to go back and examine the human condition. We don’t need strong leaders, but compassionate and empathetic humans. We need a culture of transparency, not secrecy and silos. We need to nurture and develop our fellow colleagues. More importantly, We must learn to LISTEN to our collective and respective needs, rather than the needs of our ego.
Leaders aren’t there to keep individuals on track, but to help them put on wings. They set good examples, but inspire colleagues to be themselves and express their individuality. Heck, leaders or not, the world would be a much better place if we all simply start leading less, and giving a f*** a whole lot more.
With that, welcome to “How the f*** do I build culture at work?”. This series will extensively go through the below highlighted concepts:
- Compassionate Communication
- Personal and Professional Development
- Individualized Work Environments and Benefits
First up next week is Compassionate Communication. Talk then and feel free to leave your thoughts. :)