A good work environment starts at the top.
#1 Protect your people.
Your people need to feel (and know) that you have their back. Understanding that the ultimate goal is to create an efficient and profitable work place, protect your staff from things that waste their time or create unnecessary situations. Doing this shows your employees the quality of their work environment is a priority to you. This, in turn, should translate to a more committed and productive employee.
#2 Lose the jerk.
There is no well-planned, efficient and effective workplace environment that can’t be ruined by one negative attitude. It can ruin morale and productivity and, in turn, profitability. Negative attitudes are contagious and can bleed from one person to the next. It can infect the working environment of people at all levels of your business. A good boss not only inspires his people, but he also eliminates the negative influence in his work environment.
#3 Learn to shut up.
You need to be in tune with your staff. Plant the seed and watch it grow – without regularly digging it up to check on its progress. Giving people ownership and empowering them shows that you respect them. It will yield better work that reflects the level of commitment your staff has to the business.
#4 Somebody is watching.
Be aware that you are being observed. The vastness of a leader’s responsibilities can sometimes cause him/her to lose touch with the emotional sensitivity of employees. Realize your performance is always being judged. This may not be important to some people, but it is relevant to how your business operates overall and your ability to encourage your staff to willingly follow your leadership.
#5 Be fair.
If you are creating a productive environment that encourages people to have constructive ideas that exist in an atmosphere of mutual respect, open yourself up for criticism. The final say is always yours, but you should have the courage to be questioned. However, once all is resolved, everyone should strive to move forward and focus on the future. We should all rise and fall together.
These are exercises I personally try to implement regularly. And, although I may waiver from them at times, it’s good to remember that the core of our potential to succeed as a team comes from these principals.
The people you have in place must be the people you need to have in place. The relationship a business leader has with staff is always intimate and personal. Common sense dictates that it be treated with the sensitivity it deserves.
Alex Raffi serves as Creative Director/Partner for Imagine Marketing.
Contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org