In a competitive environment, when companies strive for better productivity, creating a family-like atmosphere may make a real difference. According to McKinsey reports family businesses are more resilient, less stressful and have lower attrition rates. The good news is that there’s no need to pack your office with kinfolk to get into McKinsey’s utopian depiction of the major leagues. Here, at Beetroot, we believe that a squad of diverse, unrelated people can be turned into a high-performing team using some great family vibes.
On the heels of globalization, companies realize that to play a ball in the modern world they need to rely on teams’ commitment and cohesion. This is when the concept of employees’ empowerment gears up a notch. In a nutshell, employee empowerment means sharing responsibilities with teams, allowing them to make decisions and breaking the wall between us & them. Many studies prove that empowerment results in a higher motivation and lower attrition rate. After giving this concept a long hard look, it becomes obvious that it stems from traditional family values.
In a family endeavor, business or otherwise, there’s always a particular individual who starts the ball rolling—a parent, a grandparent, even the first colonists who came to America on the Mayflower. Without doubt, they have unquestionable authority in their roles as founders, but eventually, successors have to make individual decisions and take personal responsibility for a family’s well-being. The same pattern is applicable to businesses. Founders or CEOs should be able to delegate responsibilities and allow their teams to paddle their own canoe.
In a competitive environment, when companies strive for better productivity, creating a family-like atmosphere may make a real difference.
Maryna Verteletska, one of the first people to join Beetroot, gives her views on employee empowerment. “Personal responsibility for what’s going on in the company is one of Beetroot’s distinctive features. I realized that when I was choosing every tiny detail of office decoration alongside Andreas and Gustav (co-founders of Beetroot). I felt like I was decorating my own home. We expect the same attitude from all newcomers. It’s not easy, though. Sharing responsibility might be hard and not everyone is geared up for taking it on board. But when it works, it’s worth the effort”.
Transparency and support
Building a supportive and transparent culture is not easy. It requires wise leadership, mentoring and carefully thought-through onboarding. But at the end of the day, you may be able to develop a culture where people really care about each other.
Founders or CEOs should be able to delegate responsibilities and allow their teams to paddle their own canoe.
When asked to give examples of support and collaboration, Maryna replies in a heartbeat, “Beetroot is all about support. We don’t have mine/your responsibilities, we are always ready to give a hand to those who need it. I’m not just talking about the basic essentials, like asking a colleague to cover your back when you’re on vacation. No, I’m talking about a level of mutual support that appears in extraordinary situations. For instance, we once had a flood in our office. But before a plumber came, we had already organized our own rescue operation. We were locking down the pipes and cleaning out water altogether. We were taking care of each other and of our office, pretty much as a family would do”.
Transparency is another important thing to remember when cultivating family vibes. Some may think that an atmosphere of constant tension is stimulating, but as the reality sinks in, it’s apparent that it creates an unconducive environment which eventually makes employees quit. Don’t place your colleagues in a state of limbo—be sincere and open about your company’s next moves.
According to James Detert, we are naturally programmed to hold back sincere thoughts around people who have power. It’s a defense mechanism. However, we don’t tend to hold back our thoughts at the family dinner table. Relaxing as one does at home, adopting similar principal’s to family life is key. Adepts of brainstorming know that this kind of uninhibited, informal chatter & verbalizing a thought process may very well be one of the best sources of decent ideas we have at our disposal.
Creating an easy-going, relaxed atmosphere at work is not easy, as is the case of all things worthy of doing. It all boils down to your ability to reassure people that they won’t be punished for sharing their opinions even if it doesn’t coincide with yours.
“At first glance, it may seem like a home-like atmosphere is about wearing slippers or cooking borsch at work. Those things are cool, but they’re not enough”–Maryna carries on–“Family-like companies are the ones where you feel at home. It’s about the simplicity of communication, about an absence of power games, and about comfort. It’s a place where you are not afraid to be yourself, and one where you want to return to… over and over again.”