Work culture plays an important role in the employees’ productivity and overall performance of the company. Good work culture helps tide over hard times when each employee needs to put in the best for the company. Indian work culture is often difficult to understand for foreigners not conversant with the ways Indians function. As such, finding the right strategy to create a good work culture in an Indian office with Indian staff becomes a puzzle for foreign bosses.
Improving Work Setting in An Indian Work Culture
Listen to Your Employees
Indians respect authority, and it is reflected in the Indian work culture as well. Indian employees generally refrain from voicing their opinions. Thus, it is incumbent on the boss to encourage them to speak out and give value to their opinions. Making listening to the employees a norm helps establish a rapport with the usually reticent Indian employees and get beneficial ideas.
Indians are family-oriented and always strive to create a good balance between work and personal life. To this end, the organizational culture should include flexibility in the work routine. Strict work timings can be replaced with flexible timings. As long as the work gets completed, timings do not matter much.
The employees should be allowed to work from home for a few days in a week or month. This enables them to work in a more comfortable environment, positively affecting their productivity. In an HR service provider survey, 53% of the Indian respondents preferred remote working.
Flexibility is particularly beneficial for Indian female employees because most working Indian women do not want to neglect their families while putting in their best efforts for the company.
A healthy working culture requires the top management to be transparent with the employees. The same is true for Indian work culture as well. Indian employees are very accommodating and can gladly put in extra hours for the company. However, the employer must have open communication with them. The employees should not be in any doubt about the plans and intentions of the company. Even if an endeavor has failed, the employees should know all about it.
Transparency fosters a sense of trust among the employees towards the company, which significantly strengthens the work culture.
Sense of responsibility is a big factor in Indian work culture. To this end, involve the employees in making policy decisions, especially those that directly affect them. This will make them feel empowered and also impart a sense of responsibility. The employees can also be given the power to make certain decisions. This empowers the employees and makes them feel valued and trusted.
Empowered employees create a healthy work culture with everyone personally invested in the company’s success.
Tracking progress means monitoring the progress of each employee on the basis of certain factors such as level of job satisfaction, skill sets, strengths and weaknesses, and more. Progress tracking helps in assigning the right jobs to the right employees and boosts the employees’ productivity by making them aware of their positives and negatives.
Tracking progress also boosts the employees’ morale and motivates them to upgrade their skills and work harder. Healthy work culture is created when the employer is aware of where each employee stands in their professional roles.
Outline Plans for Improvement
Indian employees are always willing to learn from their mistakes, gather more knowledge and adopt newer skills. This is why giving them opportunities to improve their work creates a healthy corporate culture.
The managers should point out the mistakes committed by the employees but should not indulge in heavy criticism. Instead, the managers need to thoroughly analyze the mistakes and give correct advice on ways to avoid the said mistakes. The scope of improvement in completed projects must also be clearly communicated to the team members.
Mistakes can happen in an organization. The key is to enable the employees to use their mistakes as stepping stones to professional development.
Employees in every country want their work to be appreciated, and the situation is not different in India. Employees who help achieve the goals set by the company should be appreciated in the form of rewards. Rewards can be bonuses, paid holidays, profit sharing, and more. The company should establish a system of rewarding good performance.
Rewards not only assure the employees that their efforts are not being ignored by the company but also encourage other employees to work more efficiently. Both factors create a healthy culture at work.
Celebrate Employee Success
Indian employees cherish public acknowledgment of good work. Thus, publicly celebrating employee success is an important method to improve Indian work culture. The top management can organize a social gathering in honor of the success achieved by any employee. In addition, the employee’s hard work can be appreciated in written words on the company’s bulletin board and newsletters. Company meetings can also be used as a platform for appreciating the milestones achieved by the employees.
Provide Mental Health Care
Stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental issues are widely prevalent among Indian working professionals. Thus, providing care for mental health is important to improve the Indian work culture. To this end, mental health professionals need to be hired to provide counseling and other therapies to the employees to manage stress and other mental issues.
The employees should be made aware of mental health and the signs to identify potential mental problems. Complete assistance should be provided to employees suffering from mental issues.
Have Conversations with Employees
Frequent frank and open conversations with the employees help in clearing misunderstandings, allowing free flow of ideas and enabling the boss to know about the problems being faced by the employees if any. Weekly or fortnightly talk sessions with the employees should be included in the company’s calendar.
In addition to the above-mentioned points, a better appreciation of the local customs, traditions, and practices also help in improving Indian work culture and collaboration with Indian employees.