There are a number of things leaders can do to help create a company culture that fosters and inspires employees’ best work. Among them, prioritizing work-life balance, facilitating creativity, and motivating team members with context about their impact are good places to start.
Prioritizing work-life balance
Encouraging new hires to make a commitment to prioritizing their health and their families is one of the most important roles a CEO or other leaders can play. Two ways to do this are:
- Showing examples of how the time is spent each week—and leading by example
- Highlighting ways to prioritize balance while taking advantage of whatever benefits the company offers, such as PTO
It sounds simple, but when a leader takes time to prioritize this topic every single time a new person starts at a company, it sets the tone for the rest of the employee experience during their tenure.
Leaders can also share approaches that have worked well for them. A few examples:
Taking a holistic self-care approach: Instead of focusing on one effort, sample different ways to find balance and create a combination that works well overall. Therapists, coaching, habitual changes like meditating, and not checking a phone first thing in the morning and at night on the weekends are all good things to try.
Practicing daily gratitude: Daily gratitude rituals are a good way to maintain a positive perspective, and can be done through helpful apps or just pen and paper.
Maintaining perspective: Learning how to decouple so that happiness and stress levels are not always tied to your company’s performance (and thus outside of your control). It doesn't have to take a major life event to gain this perspective, but instead an attitude shift to internalize what's mission critical or not.
Reflecting and generating new ideas is an important part of helping companies thrive and employees to reach their potential. This includes creating an environment that helps optimize for creativity and helping all employees feel like they are part of the creative process.
For instance, do you have spaces—or digital tools—that facilitate collaboration between teams? How can you ensure employees have time to spend time thinking about challenges and opportunities, such as no-meeting blocks? Can you take care of your employees in other ways so that the things they spend time on are higher value? Do employees feel like they have a way to raise and explore ideas? Evaluate the ways you can help enable more creativity and give that creativity a conduit to come to life.
Motivating team members with context about their impact
Regular company-wide all-hands meetings are a great way to make sure employees know how what they do is affecting to company. Weekly meetings can cover various things, including checking in about progress towards quarterly goals. Less frequent, but still regularly scheduled meetings, such as quarterly all-hands, can look at progress from a wider perspective, like how quarterly goals are connected to a company’s broader mission. These meetings energize the team and encourage them to do better work every day because they know what they’re working towards and why.