What kind of vibes does your work environment have? When you walk through the workplace, are your employees smiling? Are they productive?
Most people can sense attitudes in an atmosphere (the importance of which I discussed in another post). If employees are happy, a stranger can sense this positivity even if it’s his first time there. If employees are unhappy and there are divisions among co-workers, one can perceive a chill from this kind of atmosphere.
The mood of an environment can attach itself to humans as a suction cup, which often leaves a mark when it’s yanked off. No one enjoys being in a place they sense has bad vibes. And certainly no one wants to remain in a workplace that drags him down.
If your work environment is productive, continue to instill a sense of value in your employees. If it isn’t, then there are a few things you can consider to make adjustments toward a positive workplace.
The first place you want to start is with you.
Set high standards
You want to set standards that everyone can follow, and there isn’t anything wrong with aiming high.
For example, you might set the standard of an error-free performance. It is difficult for all of us to avoid making mistakes. But there is a difference in achieving quality performance as opposed to perfect performance. The former is attainable, the latter is a set-up for failure.
To achieve an error-free performance, however, employees need to be clear on the company’s vision and its values.
Live your company’s values
If you want your employees to believe in the organization’s values and it’s vision, you need to take the lead in this regard. Your example in following the values, both at work and in your life, will show employees how important these values are to you.
For example, if one of your values is accountability, and you’ve made an error at some point, admit your mistake. Explain the poor decision you made, what you learned from it, and how you will avoid it in the future. If you need to make amends in some way, be sure your employees witness that. And if you need to make a sincere apology, do it.
When employees witness your passion in following the values, they will appreciate your example. You will build trust with them and help to increase morale.
Set higher standards for yourself
Not only should you set an example by following the standards you put into place for your employees, but you need to set higher standards for yourself.
Think about your personal goals and the objectives you want to achieve in your organization.
For example, you might set the standard that you want employees to keep personal calls on personal time, such as during a break. To go beyond that standard, you might take the initiative to put your phone away and not accept calls – business or otherwise – when conversing with your employees on a significant matter. That sends the message that your employees are important to you.
In another instance, one of your standards could be making sure a customer receives a product on time. To go beyond that, perhaps you see to it the product is early. Even further, you might hand deliver the product to the customer if that is possible.
You will perhaps think of other opportunities, but the point is, to look at your standards and personally go beyond them. Don’t expect that of your employees, but your example in this regard will be a positive reinforcement for their attitude.
Outline reachable goals
All of us need goals. We need to know where we’re headed, our purpose and how we personally benefit.
You might start with the major goal, but outline the smaller goals needed to reach that one at the top. The smaller goals should be easy to begin with and gradually become more challenging. As employees reach each goal, provide them with new ones. The reachable goals are important because goals that require a lot of time could become daunting and you don’t want them to give up because they think they cannot possibly achieve something so lofty.
For example, you might have a goal of rebuilding your website. That goal is extensive, but smaller objectives: gathering information and graphics, submitting content ideas, outlining the website’s purpose, working with web designers and writers, testing, etc., can be easier to reach in piecemeal. And even these aims can be broken in parts. Employees all have a hand in some way that will contribute to the bigger picture.
And make sure you participate in the goals you outline. Your passion for your business is important. If you show employees you believe in your business, they will too.
Bottom line: show your loyalty to your company and especially to your employees, and employees will remain loyal to you.
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