How do you set improvement as a workplace priority?
If you want your workplace to have an atmosphere of exploration, pushing the limits of the possible, improving on the past and setting high standards for the future, you’ve got to be ready to invest in your employees as adventurers. What do I mean by that?
I’m always impressed by the number people in the IT world who have made their own luck, teaching themselves to program, reading up on everything from time management to fitness regimes, the stock market to marketing strategies. Areas that might seem to have even only a minimal impact on their work are tweaked to the highest possible level and personal development is considered a high priority. Of course, not everyone pushes with that same determination, but for the company to maintain a pioneering edge, those who do have that sort of an attitude need to be encouraged and engaged in their development journey and those who don’t regularly seek out development opportunities need to be encouraged to take new steps and try things that they might previously have not considered.
Leading the way
Partly this encouragement comes through the example given by the management team. Perhaps you saw our post last week in which we mentioned how Ekreative CEO Viktor was reaching for the boundaries through his participation in a 10k running event. Pushing himself to new levels of physical fitness is just one of the ways in which Viktor demonstrates his desire for Ekreative as a company to be in a state of constant improvement and the rest of the management team follow his example, eager to grow their skill sets at every opportunity.
The improvement environment
Another way in which people are encouraged to develop is through the company’s approach to its own environment. By constantly looking to upgrade and improve our office space, making it a more effective and convenient work environment, we set an expectation and culture of development which runs through every aspect of our everyday lives. Recently, Ekreative invested in a new bike shed for the office, to protect bikes from weather, ensure that employees can be confident of the security of their bikes and hopefully it will even encourage some more employees to start cycling to work! This is only the latest example; by being in a state of continual upgrade, the office itself asserts that improvement is a way of life.
The most direct way of getting people to try something new, is of course offering them a concrete opportunity to try something specific. The Ekreative summer retreat last weekend was the perfect opportunity for this. As well as giving everyone an opportunity to kick back and soak up the summer sun by the pool, the weekend event got us trying out both quad-biking and jet skiing, testing our high speed prowess with a healthy dose of adrenaline!
Reflect and move forward
In addition the retreat was a great setting for us as a company to reflect on how we’re developing, recognise the aspects of our work that we’re excelling at and also those that we can focus on improving at the moment. Talking together about how to improve and setting goals for achieving those improvements is absolutely key. The future looks bright, exciting and full of new challenges; fostering an environment that encourages both personal and corporate improvement is one of the ways that Ekreative makes sure it’s ready to face those challenges head on!