Being an efficient manager and good employee sometimes isn’t enough to make work fun and productive. A lot of attention is being paid these days to the “culture” of the workplace environment. If the workplace is intimidating and cold, it may experience the revolving door of employees working for a short time and then leaving because they didn’t feel comfortable or supported in the workplace. Women are well suited to change the workplace “culture”, if nothing else simply because they are perceived at being better at that sort of thing than men.
There are several things that successful managers, employees and companies do that make employees feel nurtured and supported. It is important to pay attention to this concept at the workplace because happy employees focus more, and are more productive. If the employees are intimidated or distracted by fear of what may or may not happen at work, they will either end up making costly mistakes or leave. When employees leave, there are hidden costs in replacing that employee and retraining a replacement.
A recent survey in the Harvard Business Journal reported that employees who feel that they work in a nurturing and supportive environment express feelings of higher levels of satisfaction and teamwork. They are more dependable and interact more positively with clients. Whether you look at the company from the top down or the bottom up, companies that foster an atmosphere of concern and caring for the well being of all of the employees are more successful than those that don’t. This is most important on the supervisor level, whether it is the CEO or middle level management.
There are some things to think about when you want to change the environment in your company. First, remember that employees are people. Encourage them to share their concerns and problems with their supervisors. Supervisors don’t have to fix anything, if the employee feels that they are being heard and understood they will fare better. Supervisors need to be accessible to their charges outside of the workplace. This doesn’t mean that the supervisors have to take calls at inappropriate hours, but when employees have a problem they will feel more supported if they can communicate with supervisors. Companies that acknowledge achievements or events that impact their employees will foster much more loyalty than those that don’t. Recognition of births, deaths, awards and achievements will be much appreciated.
Companies should have social events outside of the workplace. This gives the individuals the opportunity to experience each other as human beings as opposed to human “doings”. The more people know about each other, the more they will trust each other and bond. Be mindful about what these events; communicate with employees about what would be fun. What the CEO thinks might be fun could be a bloody disaster for the employees.
There are four triggers that cause employees to become emotionally volatile. It is important to watch out for these in the workplace. When employees feel disrespected, unappreciated, ignored or blamed they could do or say things they may later regret. If you have employees or staff conflicts, look for those triggers. It is important to help employees feel respected, appreciated, heard and supported. Encourage face-to-face meetings. The personal interaction between two people can be the difference between success and failure. Companies that depend upon emails and texts to communicate between staff and management do not build the teamwork atmosphere and the culture successful companies enjoy. Encourage people to talk face-to-face rather than communicate digitally.
If someone is not working out, it is important for their supervisors to discuss this with them and give them the chance to change. If the culture is to fire people without warning that will cause fear in the workplace and undermine what you are trying to achieve. However, if someone looked good in the beginning but has become a problem and won’t change their behavior, do not be afraid to let them go. Every workplace has rules about how this happens, be aware of those rules. I have had to let people go for misconduct several times. It is not easy, however, the attitude of the workplace instantly improved once they were gone.
Make the workplace an environment where the employees feel wanted and cherished. When people look forward to going to work, then you have created a culture that will thrive. Look for innovative ways to improve the “feel” and “look” of your business. Allow employees to personalize their workspace so they can feel like they have a vested interest in their work. Make sure that employees know what is expected of them and communicate with them about their job. If something is going wrong, it is best to catch it early.
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