Without a doubt, work is a massive part of our lives — so you may as well make the very best of it. I look at it like this, "If I'm going to be there, I'm going to do the best as I can in my leadership role," and one of the most important ways I do that is by creating a positive work environment for my employees.
All successful leaders create positive work environments, and you can do it at your business operation as well. To show you how, I've put together a list of positive work environment traits that some of our most successful leaders embody, in the hopes that you'll implement them into your leadership development plan as well.
Please read them, implement them, put them on your list of goals for the year, and see how great of an effect they have on the growth of revenue and employee leadership development at your company. I know you'll be pleased with the results.
Focus on Employee Strengths
Turning something that an employee does good, into something they do great, will have far more reaching benefits than making something that an employee does bad, into something that they do good. You get what I'm saying here — focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses for maximum results.
Dump the 1980's Style Micromanaging
Stop with this nonsense type of management because it all leads to resentments, unhappiness, and the employee ultimately leaving. The workforce today doesn't need to have someone looking over their shoulder, they've been brought up to work independently and can get the job done, as long as they have clear directions. Remember, just because you did things a certain way when you were growing up doesn't mean that they are still correct today.
Always Be Considerate of Compensation
It's tough for employees to work for free, especially when they have families and bills to pay. Make sure before you go hijacking the compensation plan, you think about whom it's going to affect the most, and make sure that you're not going to lose any employees in the process. I love paying someone when they do a job well, so I always look to pay the people that excel within my organization, the most money.
Never Allow Any Hazing or Bullying
It may sound childish to have to say in an adult workplace, but unfortunately, it still happens. Immediately stop any hazing or bullying activities the second you see or hear about them. Yes, cutting the new guys tie after his first deal is hazing. There's a big difference between making people feel comfortable vs. uncomfortable. If you have to think about whether what you're doing is right or wrong, it's probably wrong, so stop in your tracks and don't do it.
Keep the Human Element in Every Interaction
I always talk about the human factor because it's so vitally important to understand. When you cut yourself, you bleed, it doesn't matter what gender, race, or ethnicity you are — so treat everyone the same. There's never any room for ignorance. We're all human, we all have emotions, and we're all eventually going to mess up at some point — the key for you in your leadership role is to be understanding and help employees through whatever they're going through.
Focus on Team Performance
Have people with similar interests and skillsets, work together on the same team. The idea is to get maximum productivity out of every organizational unit. The power of like-minded smart employees working together is incredible. Deeper, more enriching, and accountable relationships will form, and ultimately, your company will come out on top because your employees will feel that they're part of a greater whole.
Make Sure Employees Have Work-Life Balance
Everyone needs to take a break and spend time relaxing or partaking in an activity that they love. As an employer, if you're pounding on everyone with the 24/7 work theme, you're not going to have happy employees for very long. People may buy into this philosophy at first because they're drinking the Kool-Aid, but after a while, they'll start to breakdown and realize that this way of "all work and no play" isn't what life is all about. Ensure your employees are taking time off to spend with their families and make sure they're taking time to do what they love.
Stay Way Out in Front of Issues
Without a doubt, there are going to be issues that come up. There are many different business dynamics, some in your control, and some out of your control; then, you match that with different employee and management personalities, and you have a strong probability of issues arising. The best thing to do is nip them in the bud immediately. Letting problems linger will only create an atmosphere of animosity within your company. The faster you take care of issues that arise, the quicker you'll move beyond them, and the more happy employees you'll have.
Provide Continual Education for Employees
Your employees are the lifeblood of your company. They're an extension of you, so invest time and money to make them the absolute best people they can be — not only in business but also in their personal lives. Education is paramount to continual employee growth. Employees may not want to take part in educational opportunities at first, but once they've completed some activities, they'll be thanking you.
Honor Every Employee Commitment
If you say that you're going to increase pay for employees every year, then do it. Never commit to anything that you're not going to be able to follow through. Treat commitments like cement — stable, secure, and lasting. Breaking commitments breaks trust, and when you break faith, you lose the ability to transfer messages to your employees because they're not going to believe in what you're saying.
Promote the Right People for the Right Jobs
Nothing is worse for an employee to see a co-worker that's not the best person for the job, get a job they have no right getting. Doing this is a morale crusher, and it will take away positive energy from your staff. If someone is doing an excellent job for you, but they don't have the same education or background that another employee has, who cares, still put the person that's doing a great job in the spot. Reward employees that are doing great jobs by moving them into new roles where they can continue to challenge themselves. If you promote the wrong people, you're eventually going to have to go back, fire them, and then hire the right people, so do it correctly the first time, and you'll save a bunch of time and money.
Bring the Best Out of Every Employee
There's no better feeling than seeing an employee that may have been a little rough around the edges, come through as your shining star. Great leaders have a knack for bringing out the very best in employees. Look at it like this, "It's not what you did for yourself that people are going to remember; it's what you did for other people." Leave your imprint on the world and your company by providing an enriching work environment where people can learn, excel in what they do, and put some serious money in the bank.
There you have them, my list of positive work environment traits that top leaders embody. As I always say, "If you don't do anything with the information you learn, what sense is there in learning it in the first place." Let this information sink in, pick out one or two of the traits above, and implement them in your organization, then pick out another one or two, and implement them.
You need to be moving in a positive direction daily for the best results. I challenge you as a business leader to create a positive work environment that truly touches your employee's hearts.