Executive leaders can boost employee morale and performance by making the workplace more comfortable.
The workplace is a leading cause of stress for today’s professionals. Although we often do our best to hide it in the workplace, human beings are a complex blend of their experience, culture – and sometimes – emotions. Resultantly, stress can cause professionals with conflicting agendas to bump heads in the worst way.
The following are eight suggestions for promoting a more comfortable and safer workplace.
1. Communication Is Key
It’s essential that you’re cognizant of how you engage with employees. Team leaders and executives should focus on effective communication methods and how they can support positive employee engagement.
For many organizations, positive reinforcement is the key to success. When leaders give employees positive reinforcement, employees feel motivated and valued. As a result, leaders should offer employees specific feedback on how their work contributes to the organization’s overall objectives.
2. Earn Trust by Giving It
Whether you’re a senior employee or department head, others will look to you for approval. Remember to let employees be themselves. While it’s good that executives attempt to accommodate employees, business leaders often desire more than subtle differences in assumptions, habits and perspectives. Business leaders who are too accommodating often confine the work environment to traditional categories determined by age, ethnicity, gender, race and other characteristics.
3. Work Toward Cultural Understanding
Contemporary leaders must think about business beyond profit. Business leaders and employees alike shape corporate culture and reflect the ideals of the organization. For example, you should ask yourself, “Who works at my organization?”
It’s also essential that executives are aware of their own biases and prejudices. Everyone makes assumptions. Still, assumptions – in business – can prove lifesaving.
4. Don’t Silo Information That Others Need to Do Their Jobs
Effective leaders allow information to flow freely. Productive leaders do not distort, deceive, stonewall or spin the truth.
In an age of WikiLeaks, Facebook and Twitter, the truth comes out eventually. It’s better that employees hear the truth from you – rather than from some other, publicly available source.
5. Build on What Works
For optimal performance, executives must learn to build on peoples’ strengths. In an ideal world, business leaders identify the best employees and help them to perform even better.
When the economy is good, competition is fierce. Whether the economy is doing well or not, managers reap rewards more for minimizing labor costs, compared to increasing long-term worker effectiveness.
6. Think Beyond the Bottom Line
Great leaders stand for more than shareholder value. Stakeholders want to be a part of something that they can believe in that’s bigger than themselves.
Too many organizations try to brainwash people into believing in the virtues of their brand. Instead, people want to work with an organization with real emotion, so that they can live and breathe the company mission.
7. Show Stakeholders That Their Contribution Is Important
People want to know that they are working toward a tangible goal. Resultantly, they attempt to extract meaning from their daily work.
No amount of career development can help to fulfill this need. Alternatively, business leaders must purposefully reconsider the tasks performed by each employee.
8. Ensure That Everyone’s Treated Fairly
Rules are essential. However, business leaders must create rules that employees can believe in.
No one likes bureaucracy. Nevertheless, it’s impossible to run an organization without effective rules. Even the most complex organizations need concrete rules and procedures. Otherwise, it will collapse under the weight of chaos.
Making a Difference in the World
Employees and consumers alike benefit from healthy enterprises that demonstrate corporate responsibility. Today, savvy consumers have high standards for health, well-being and social responsibility. Business leaders that look after their employees and society are more likely to generate a positive public image and maintain sustainable, long-term profit.
A comfortable workplace is good for employees’ health and well-being. More executives, however, are beginning to recognize that a comfortable workplace is also good for their own well-being.
A healthy, safe and positive work environment increases morale. Furthermore, this kind of environment will help you and your staff members to maintain quality work-life balance – a benefit that can only positively impact your enterprise.
Healthy workers are motivated. With a strong, healthy workforce your organization will be prepared to take on and overcome whatever obstacles may arise now – and in the future.