We have all worked in places where we grew to dread getting up in the morning, and a few of us have had the pleasure of working for a boss who makes us feel like we can do anything. Let’s take a look at the differences between a positive and a negative work environment.
The boss is unfriendly.
The boss is critical.
There is high employee turnover.
There is low employee morale.
People watch the clock.
The boss demonstrates interest in the employees.
The boss has an encouraging attitude.
Employees like working there.
There is evidence of company pride and loyalty.
Thousands of books have been written on the subject of managing and motivating people, and as many training seminars are conducted on this subject around the world every day. And yet it’s interesting that even with all of this available information, few companies succeed at creating a positive work environment. Let’s see what’s involved.
Creating a positive work environment is based on four key skills. They are:
Telling people what you expect of them.
Showing interest in your team members.
Creating an encouraging environment.
Telling people what you expect of them means doing the following:
Communicating expectations clearly
Having a specific job description
Identifying specific performance standards
What behaviors convey that someone is interested in you?
Making eye contact
Calling you by name
Asking your opinion
Complimenting your work
These behaviors convey a lack of interest:
Not knowing your name or not using it
Not asking your opinion
Ignoring your suggestions
Not commenting on your work
Such signs discourage productivity because they make people feel discouraged, angry, less confident, and stripped of self-esteem.
Most people would agree that an encouraging work environment is one where:
Their ideas are valued.
Creativity is encouraged.
Risks are encouraged.
Fun and laughter are valued.
New ideas are rewarded.
They feel appreciated.
People thank you for your contributions.
Flexibility is valued.
Creating such an environment results in the following benefits to employees. They:
Contribute more ideas.
Feel more committed.
Look forward to coming to work.
Are more productive.
Creating such an environment results in the following benefits to managers and business owners:
Easier to find employees due to good reputation
A reinforcer is anything that happens, after a behavior, that tends to increase the chances that the behavior will be repeated. Included are such things as:
Saying "Thank you"
Public announcement of your achievement
Positive letter in your personnel file
Special parking space
First choice on schedule
Tickets to an event
Extra employee discount
Picture on the bulletin board
Describe the results you are recognizing. Be specific. It’s important to make certain the employee knows what behavior or accomplishment you are referring to.
State your personal appreciation. Say, "I appreciate it." Adding your personal appreciation makes the compliment feel more genuine.
Online tools to help manage your daily life.
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