Intro: In a workplace, trust is built when respect, fairness, openness and credibility become the foundation for every decision and interaction in the organization.
Byline: Kabir Lumba, MD Lifestyle International Pvt Ltd
Lifestyle International Pvt. Ltd‘s journey, over the last 18 years, has been heartening. We’ve not just built a successful business, but a vibrant and dynamic work culture as well, where people come together, collaborate and succeed. What has helped us achieve this? Looking back, what comes to the fore, are not the perks or the programs that we have instituted, but something that is universal, something that is at the heart of all human behaviour and at the core of our DNA – Trust!
This is true for any industry, and even more so for an industry like retail; it is not possible to have a great workplace and in turn a successful business, if the people who work there do not feel trusted. In a workplace, trust is built when respect, fairness, openness and credibility become the foundation for every decision and interaction in the organisation.
Building a great workplace culture is just like building a great business, it’s about getting the basics right. As a business, we ensure that we are ethical and fair, that we listen to our customers and take their inputs on our products and services, we weed out inefficiencies in our system and strive to deliver more seamlessly, we brace for change and plan growth accordingly. Similarly, as a great workplace, we must be fair to our employees, allow them to speak and listen to their opinions, respect their work and display trust in their judgment, encourage camaraderie and teamwork, provide development and equip them to deal with change. These requirements are basic and yet, they are often forgotten by leaders who concentrate too heavily on the business.
So, how does one embark on this journey of building a great workplace? At Lifestyle International, it all started with measurement. As an organisation, it’s important to understand and analyse areas of improvement – areas in which the organisation falls short in delivering a great employee experience. More importantly, it is to take the feedback received and transform it into necessary actions that will help create a more caring workplace. This does not happen overnight, however, with a concentrated effort and focused approach, it’s possible to rebuild and re-engineer workplace culture.
Our success story at Lifestyle International Pvt Ltd., began with leaders understanding the importance of building a great workplace. The realisation was that having engaged employees had a direct bearing on superior customer experience. As business leaders, while we were comfortable with profit and loss, innovation and improving processes, through conscious efforts and focused interventions, we have supported employees through change, invested in their development, and ensured they were inspired by their work, their colleagues and their management. When people take pride in the work they do and are respected for their performance, they’re willing to go beyond expectations – they approach their work with positivity and enthusiasm. Such a workplace would just not be a happy and invigorating place to work, it will be a business that is successful. As a retailer, the equation is very simple, when we have happy faces welcoming our customers, they enjoy shopping with us – they have a great experience just like our employees.
To put it simply, building a great workplace, is just that – it’s simple. It’s about devising policies and encouraging the basic qualities with which we all want to be treated as individuals – trust, respect, fairness and credibility.