Do you ever feel like you just need to make a change?
If so, you are not alone. Since 2021, millions of people around the world have left their jobs in search of greener pastures. Many cited hostile work environments, inflexibility concerning remote work options, and general but long-lasting job dissatisfaction among their reasons.
The good news is, you can procure the change in work culture that you seek, whether you plan to look for a job or stay put. We’ll discuss several methods below. And if you’re looking for a complete change of scenery, we’ll even consider jobs in Europe for Americans.
First, how can you obtain a better work culture without resigning?
Set the Example
Mohandas Gandhi, known for his peaceful approach to bringing about meaningful change, once said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him… We need not wait to see what others do.”
This quote has often been summarized as “Be the change you want to see in the world.” You can be the change in your workplace, too.
First, think about the culture you’d like to have. Then, make a list of actions you could take to promote it.
If your work environment is too hostile, educate yourself on conflict management techniques and put them into practice. If you feel like your coworkers are cold and unfriendly, plan an office luncheon. When you make a change, others may follow.
Blaze a Trail with Mission and Vision Statements
The next step may be drafting or refining the company’s mission and vision statements. If your company doesn’t already have these, ask your boss if you can take on the task. Make sure the statements are posted where appropriate on the company website and in the workspace.
One American hotelier wanted to refine his company’s values. He asked each of his managers to list a handful of qualities they felt were most important, and why. He distilled this is input into five core qualities with short descriptions. He then has these made into posters to help everyone work toward the same goals.
Give Company Culture High Priority in Your Job Search
The above methods of changing your current company culture may only work in some circumstances. But if company culture is important to you, you should make it a priority in your next job search.
You can learn about company culture in a number of ways. Check their websites for statements of mission, vision, and values. Consult with your professional network to identify contacts that have worked for or with the company. See what current and former employees say on sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn. Look for press releases that may reveal whether leadership acts in accordance with the company’s professed values.
Start Your Own Company
If you think you’ve got the skills and resources to become an entrepreneur, you can start your own business and cultivate the company culture you desire from day one. You will need to set an example, compose the company’s mission, vision, and values, and fund any programs or benefits that you feel are important.
Company culture differs from business to business, but in a generalized way, it can also differ from place to place. Company cultures are understandably influenced by major cultures in the geographic regions in which they are located.
Many Americans have moved abroad in search of changes in corporate culture. For example, some have sought employment in Italy and other European nations because they offer more paid leave—especially parental leave—than most companies in the United States. When it comes to vacation time, Europeans average four to five weeks per year, while Americans average two.
Moving may help some employees achieve the work-life balance they desire. Sociologists have noted that American work ethics push people toward burnout, while some areas of Europe are experimenting with a four-day workweek. In 2015, French workers averaged 18 percent fewer yearly hours than American workers, and in 2017, government employees in France were granted the right to disconnect from work emails during off-hours.
Mealtimes in Europe may last two or more hours, even during work. This allows employees to leave the office, return home, and enjoy the meal with family or friends.
Planning your move will take some work, but the results could be worth it!
Encouraging Learning and Development
In today’s rapidly evolving professional landscape, the importance of continuous learning and development cannot be overstated. Employers and employees alike recognize that fostering a culture of learning not only benefits individuals but also strengthens organizations as a whole. Here are some key actions you can take to encourage learning and development in your work environment:
- Promoting Continuous Learning: Encourage a mindset of lifelong learning by emphasizing the value of acquiring new skills and knowledge. Advocate for the availability of training programs, workshops, and conferences that provide opportunities for employees to expand their expertise and stay up-to-date with industry trends.
- Providing Resources for Skill Development: Ensure that employees have access to resources such as online courses, learning platforms, and libraries. Promote the use of these resources and create a supportive environment that encourages individuals to invest time and effort into their own professional growth.
- Establishing Mentorship Programs: Implement mentorship initiatives that pair experienced employees with those who are eager to learn and develop their skills. This fosters knowledge sharing, facilitates career progression, and creates a sense of community within the organization.
- Encouraging Knowledge Sharing: Promote a culture of collaboration and information exchange by establishing platforms for sharing knowledge and best practices. Encourage employees to participate in knowledge-sharing sessions, lunch-and-learn sessions, or internal workshops to enable cross-functional learning.
Fitting in well with your company culture can mean the difference between loving your job and loathing it. Suppose you’re looking for a change in work culture. In that case, you can set an example in behaving according to company culture, help compose mission and vision statements, search for a new job with the culture you design, start your own company, or even move abroad.
Like the Ghandi quote above, you can make a difference by supporting a positive and refreshing workplace culture!