7 Ways to Develop a Challenge Culture at Work

By Harvey Deutschendorf

qimono / Pixabay

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” ~ Steve Jobs ~

Getting smart people in organizations to feel free to give feedback and challenge ideas doesn’t just happen. Many long standing organizations such as Kodak, Sears and Borders have failed to adapt to the reality of today’s world have found themselves becoming irrelevant. One of the reasons is that the leaders did not receive valuable information that may have helped the organization turn around. Many leaders find themselves in a vacuum, unwilling to receive or seek information crucial to the health of their organization. In today’s highly competitive, fast moving environment, businesses need to have everyone, and their ideas, on board. It is crucial to develop an environment that promotes and encourages constant feedback and to challenge ideas at all levels. According to Vip Sandhir, CEO and founder of High Ground, creating a challenge culture is key to employee engagement and an organization’s growth and future.

Here are 7 Ways to Develop a Challenge Culture at Work:

Establishing the right culture

The culture of an organization determines the parameters within the people interacting, what is acceptable and expected. It must be made clear to new hires that not only should they feel free to challenge ideas at all levels, it is what will be expected of them. At High Ground, a great deal of time is spent from the outset establishing values and behaviors on a 1:1 basis. Scott Kelly, Chief Human Resource Officer of Hitachi Data Systems, states that “from day one on the job, new employees are not just encouraged, but expected to be self- starters with a solution-oriented mindset who feel empowered to challenge the status quo to drive the best outcomes for our customers and our company.”

Building a culture of trust

In order for there to be honest, timely and effective feedback, it is imperative that everyone is able to trust management and each other. The building of trust starts at the top with leaders being witnessed not only doing the talk but walking the walk. If employees see any hesitancy of leaders to be challenged or feel that their ideas and feedback will not be welcomed, they will not be willing to take the risk in sharing with them. By demonstrating that they not only seek fresh ideas that are different from their own, but acting upon them, leaders will let everyone know that it is okay to challenge them and each other. According to Scott Kelly at Hitachi Data Systems, “In our fast-paced world, decisions have to be made, and we can’t always wait for a common consensus. In those cases, trust wins out, with employees committing to the new direction.”

Continuous, open and timely feedback

Practicing open feedback and challenging ideas should not only be reserved for meetings or on occasions reserved for that purpose. To do so sends the message that it is not the norm. Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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