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Cultivating Conscientious Culture

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Cultivating Conscientious Culture … Say that 3 times fast.

And yet if your workplace culture is missing conscientiousness, your workplace is probably suffering.

Conscientiousness is the trait of being thorough, careful and vigilant. It is the desire to do a task well. It is a by-product of high integrity and strong principles.

When there is a lack of conscientiousness , you will usually notice one or more of the following are also common occurrences in your workplace:

  • Tardiness. Whether it is late arrivals to work or late reports turned in to the boss, if you have issues with tardiness in your workplace, you have a conscientiousness problem.
  • Finger-pointing or the blame game. If your employees are quick to declare what’s not their job or why another employee’s/department’s actions are causing shortcomings, you have a conscientiousness problem.
  • Mistakes. If there are regular errors in the work or lapses of sound decision-making in your workplace, you have a consciousness problem.
  • Disorganization. If your processes are unclear or your record-keeping is disjointed, you have a consciousness problem.

Much like leadership ability, there are varying schools of thoughts on whether conscientiousness is something you just innately have or whether conscientiousness can be developed. I choose to believe conscientiousness can be developed. I choose to believe conscientiousness can be cultivated in our workplace culture.

If you’re having challenges in your workplace, here are 3 easy things you can take to begin cultivating a conscientious culture today:

  1. Reset expectations. Start with refreshing employees on the requirements on attendance, dress code and standards of conduct. Most of our workplace policies have conscientious behaviors built in. Reminding employees of the behaviors expected of them is the first step in cultivating conscientious culture.
  2. Outline deadlines. Be clear about when work assignments are due as well as the goals, parameters and format. Make employees responsible to meet the deadlines with results that are complete, thorough and accurate. When errors happen, ask your employees questions that require critical thinking and thoughtful answers.  Have them correct the errors and resubmit the work. Keep doing this until the work is consistently completed without issues. Holding employees accountable in this way is crucial to cultivating conscientious culture.
  3. Recognize and reward. Most managers spend the majority of their time on trying to get problem employees to perform. Stop doing this!! Know who the best, most conscientious people are in your workplace and focus your energy and efforts on them. Recognize them publicly and privately for their results. Reward them with greater salary, bonuses and incentives. Everyone wants to be favored at work. Show your employees what behaviors are valued and to be repeated. Copycats will emerge to cultivate conscientious culture.

Consistent conscientiousness is difficult to maintain, even in the best of workplaces. However, it is necessary to ensure excellence and integrity in your culture and business outputs.

Start cultivating a conscientious culture today. It will not be easy. But will definitely be worth it.

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