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The pursuit of success in a startup initiates with its work culture. As entrepreneurs, we thrust to develop a workplace that gets the best contribution of every employee, whom I like to call work-partners; and pledge from our end to keep their wellbeing first is instrumental in turning around the business of any organisation. While startups are known to have a ‘cool’ atmosphere, there are times when environment gets gruelling and demanding. Sometimes even the most motivated employees feel the self-imposed pressure to push their boundaries, and in the process may get burned out if the environment isn’t conducive for their energies.
Accept as true that a startup is as good as its employees and grows faster when they are given a thriving culture. I have always followed the five-point mantra below to enable a healthier work-life balance for my work partners.
1. Focus on Productivity – not Working Hours
Productivity scores extremely higher than the time or number of hours someone spends at work. If one is at work for 10 hours, but the productivity is only 30%, then s/he is doing more harm to the organisation than good. As an entrepreneur, one needs to promote a culture of emphasising, acknowledging and rewarding more productivity at work, instead of merely putting in more working hours.
2. Encourage Healthier Lifestyles among Work partners
Healthy and happy work partners are the best assurance for a successful entrepreneurial venture. It is most important to invest in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for one’s work partners. This can be achieved in different ways. For example, by removing the worry of poor physical health through sports activities at work or supporting them when they are facing a difficult situation in their personal lives.
3. Recognise the Importance of Vacations
As another saying warns, ‘All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.’ Vacations are a crucial part of workers’ lives whereby they can rejuvenate and regain their vigour. Maintaining positive energies with annual vacations is essential to recharging their cells by relaxing the body and mind. One must, therefore, encourage work partners to take time off at periodic intervals or at least once a year. Failure to do so may result in a burnout or even nervous breakdown due to mental and physical exhaustion.
4. Promote Careers – not Jobs
Anyone seeking a job will always end up complaining, no matter how much we care for them. When a work partner is assured of a fruitful career, however, they work with more dedication, putting their best foot forward at all times. This helps the organisation succeed and do better compared to when the work partners only put in half-hearted efforts. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that work partners perceive a career at the workplace and do not treat it as just another routine job.
5. Discourage Workaholism
Any addiction is bad – and so is workaholism or addiction to work. One must encourage work partners to be diligent and treat their work with due respect in order to perform at their best while in the office, rather than promoting a culture where they spend countless hours at work and eventually burn themselves out. Workaholism does not signify high performance. This fact must be recognized by all organisations.
Work partners should be encouraged to understand the importance of being attentive and engaged in their tasks at all times whilst not losing focus on their health and mental well being. I have always inculcated a culture that embodies these 5 mantras at my company.