As a leader within a company you have a responsibility to create and maintain a positive work environment. Even if this is not a company wide reality you can seek to provide this type of environment for your Department/ Division or those within your sphere of influence.
Here are some things that can help you in that effort:
Respect and trust
- Show employees they are valued
- Allow employees to use their strengths most of the time rather than burden them with things they are not good at
- Allow employees to do what you hired them to do – don’t micromanage
Be a coach
- Explain how daily tasks feed into the team and result in accomplishing team goals
- Help employees to reach their goals by pointing out what they are doing well and helping to improve other aspects of their work
- Try to work with the employee’s schedule whenever possible. If they need to be doing something else for the morning, and it doesn’t affect their deadlines and they have a history of always making deadlines, just go with it.
Do non-work things with your team. A morning of go-cart racing, providing a pizza lunch, having a monthly birthday cake for employees are only a few of the team building activities you can do. Try to do this monthly or quarterly. Once a year won’t have the same effect.
Show your gratefulness
When employees are working hard and getting things done, a little gesture of gratitude can help. A gift card can go a long way to make someone feel appreciated and it is not that expensive.
Provide for physical needs
Personal space, quality of lighting, furniture and even the color of the walls or cubicle can make a difference in the employee’s outlook. Giving the employee input into what their work space looks like (even if it’s to pick out items from a list of acceptable furnishings, colors, etc.) can go a long way to creating a positive physical work space and happy employee.
Model the behavior you want to see
Maintain professionalism, be clear about your expectations, keep employee issues private and confidential, don’t tolerate infighting and treat all employees the same.