Unusual Workplace Practices Around the World That We Can Learn From

Each country has its own unique workplace practices that make it a great place to be. Some of these practices may be weird and unacceptable in some parts of the world while they are utterly essential for a business to succeed in others.

You may already know that it may take 20 years to build a reputation that can be destroyed in less than 5 minutes. It is therefore in your business’ best interest to encourage a memorable workplace culture. You must put in the effort and be patient while defining and building culture.

Even then, you need to be aware that whole great talent is essential for your business. Make sure that you integrate a strong organisational culture in your business. Is it that easy to make culture your strongest asset? An excellent place to start is to look at the best workplace practice from all over the world and find ways to integrate them into yours.

Support employees with growth and ownership opportunities

There is a grocery chain in Florida called the Publix Super Markets. It is one of the great employee-owned companies in America. It has over 184,000 employees who are also associates. Their profit margins always surpass those at Walmart and Kroger. Because of their unique culture, they have an even higher voluntary revenue rates among their permanent employees.

They have an Employee Stock Ownership Program where employees receive company stock after they have worked each week. They, therefore, have a stake in the overall success of the business.  They emphasise on transparency and communication. These employees are eligible for a salary increase every six months. A move that is determined by the performance feedback they receive.

They always look to promote employees from within and allow them to go for opportunities that match their career goals. The company provides customers with information to learn and tools that allow them to express their opinions and ideas in varying roles.

Logging off

In France, employees are protected by the Right to Disconnect Law that stipulates that it is not compulsory for them to respond to Emails that come after hours. This is a great law that protects all employees from being overworked.

To keep your employees motivated, you may want to implement this in your company. This will help you maintain the necessary health work-life balance.

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Coffee breaks are no joke in Sweden

In Sweden, people believe that taking breaks makes employees more productive. That is why coffee breaks are so crucial for them. It gives them the chance to relax, take a break from all the seriousness of work, enjoy a beverage and talk to their colleagues.

In fact, most companies will give these breaks twice at 9 and at 3 so that staff can converse. Even while some companies are less formal about these breaks, they are still the mainstay for workers in Sweden.

Consensus decision making

In Japanese institutions, whether government or business, decisions are made by consensus. The employees are required to debate and discuss a proposed issue in the organisation until they agree on it. If they do not, the decision on the issue cannot be made. Most businesses will shudder at the thought of this, but if it is working in Japan, it can work for you too.

Japan is known to reach highly controversial decisions because of this way of decision making. So while it may lead to time wastage and politicking at first, it will allow your company to make the tough decisions easier.

With this decision-making process, everyone is already presold to the organisations’ ideas. You see, when the management makes decisions, they have to spend a lot of time selling the idea and getting everyone to act on it.

Then, it is clear that it was a choice of a few individuals in the company which leads employees to feel unappreciated and may sabotage these choices. However, when the decision-making process is free and fair, people know what they need to do because they agreed they would do it.

Take care of your environment

This is not just a way to make sure that the planet is greener. This is a practice that Japanese people hold in high regard. It involves leaving a place cleaner than you found it.  Regardless of your position in the organisation, you can pick up the garbage and sweep the floor.

It is a practice that helps people have a much higher sense of pride in their place of work and the environment in general.

It is a great practice that can be implemented in any organisation and in any country. So next time you and your employees see a mess in the office they will think, “How can I make this better than I found it?” this will ensure offices are always clean and tables are wiped down after meals. Picking up trash will not be left to the janitors. The mood and attitude in the office will change instantaneously.

unusual workplace practices

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Service-minded, fun-loving individuals

Southwest Airlines is a company that started small with only four planes and has grown to employ more than 52,000 employees. It is the nation’s largest carrier. The company asks its employees to embody perseverance, hard work and proactive customer service while remaining fun and lighthearted in everything they do.

Managers hire for attitude and train for skills. Its employees feel recognised appreciation and celebration. Managers and employees take time to recognise each other through formal and informal methods. This is a practice that can help you improve employee motivation and productivity.

It will help your workers feel like they belong in the company. They will, therefore, work harder to show results and ensure that their work ethics are excellent. As a result, you will have higher retention rates and a profit margin that keeps increasing.

Appreciate the unspoken

In Japan, it is believed that people should honor the feelings and opinions of others to promote harmonious interactions. Therefore it is difficult to find people criticising and disagreeing with others directly. The freedom of speech in the west may make this difficult to understand, but it ends up creating a unique working environment where there is mutual respect.

The Japanese express their true feelings in subtle ways. For instance, they may depend more on facial expressions to communicate rather than using words that may end up hurting the other person.

How can this impact your business? Well, you can teach your employees to be keener on their verbal and non-verbal communication in daily life. Teach them to look at the facial expressions of people and their body language. Understand what is being communicated from these non-verbal communication cues. Use them to find out how you can adjust your behavior accordingly.

Finding a balance

According to a law that was passed on January 1, 2017, in Taiwan, employees must be given two off days each week. For a long time, employees in Taiwan have long viewed their loyalty to employers as a high priority. Employers regard personal requests as rude.

While this hard work has contributed to economic success in the country, employees also need time to enjoy the work of their hands. This new law requires employees to take care of themselves, their families and unwind after a long week of work.

When you give your employees time off each week- even if it is just one day- they will come back to work rejuvenated and ready to deal with any challenges that may come their way during the week. They are therefore more productive and contented with the work environment.

In Summary

As the world is becoming a village, it is essential to integrate different cultures in their business processes. These different cultures also put you at a great position to expand your business and attract a global market because you already understand the different cultures, unusual workplace practices and have integrated them in your business.


About the Author

Herbert Sward is an entrepreneur and a blogger. Currently, he is editor-in-chief at Steroids Sale Guide resource where he shares his experience in sport and bodybuilding. He also runs a small business in his home town, and has big experience in entrepreneurship and management.

Team 6Q

Team 6Q