A positive office culture creates happy and motivated employees. Happy and motivated employees create efficient and effective work. Efficient and effective work creates a bottom line that will make the bosses and the clients happy. So how do you develop a workplace culture that ensures your employees are performing to the best of their abilities? The following four tips will point out some common fears and anxieties of employees, and will offer helpful methods to help assuage those fears.
Oh Captain, My Captain
Faith in one’s superiors is an absolute for running a healthy and effective office culture. Sure, you can put some beers in a fridge and get a pool table for downtime – but if you don’t instill confidence in your employees, those beers and pool table will just be props in the office charade you’ve created. One of the simplest ways to instill that confidence is just letting your employees know that you’re grateful for the work they did. A simple, meaningful note written on a fun set of postcards are great to hand to an employee as a tangible, physical means of showing gratitude. That’s not to say that a cold beer and a game of 9 ball doesn’t have its place – but putting work first let’s everyone know that the work is what’s most important.
Understanding Employee Fears, and Turning Them to Success
Fear of the unknown is just a stepping stone to understanding that unknown ability. Johnathon Fields’ Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance discusses this very subject. The book focuses on turning the uncertainty and doubt that comes with exploring your limitations into the fuel to achieving success. This is a phenomenal book to hand out to employees who have shown the talent to succeed, but might lack the confidence to get there. There is no better way to develop loyalty in an employee than to give them the means to find the courage to succeed.
Learn From Mistakes, and Don’t Fear Making New Ones
Building on the last point – everyone screws up. Sometimes royally, sometimes nominally. How an employee responds to that mistake, however, is on management. Obviously, individual reactions to successes and failures are particular to that employee – they might spend some time in the bathroom crying it out, they might grin and bear it, or they might run shrieking from the office waving their shirt above their heads. However it’s the day after, the week after, or the month after that shows the true mettle of the office culture you’ve created. Check out Café Quill’s article on how encouraging employees to try and fail can be a powerful tool to honing the talent of your work force. Showing a coworker how to effectively bounce back after a mistake is almost as important as acknowledging a success.
Ensure a Manageable Workload
Workload management is as important to a positive office culture as any of the factors above. An overburdened worker makes mistakes, becomes frustrated, and eventually begins looking for ways to get out from under the weight (ie: work somewhere else.) So before you get out the whip and bullhorn, consider some workload management tips to help your employees meet deadlines, ensure efficiencies, and not get stressed in the process. Time management, prioritizing tasks, setting daily / weekly / monthly goals – these are the tools that 9 to 5ers need in their belts to effectively get the job done, and get it done well.
A positive work culture isn’t something that comes easily. It’s an everyday, every week, and every month task that requires a whole lot of mettle to manage. Hopefully these tips will add to your repertoire – and really – don’t forget about those beers and the pool table!