Your employees will perform at their best if you create a positive work environment for them. People perform better when they feel encouraged, accepted, and happy. That’s a nice formula, isn’t it?
Creating a joyous workplace may take some time, but it gives your work a sense of purpose and results in dedicated performance. In addition, managers are responsible for nurturing their teams, not just producing great results no matter what the cost is. Is everyone on board?
Here are five tips shared by our dental speaker for creating a positive work environment:
1. Engage in meaningful (in-person) conversation
Your team members will be motivated in all sorts of crazy-good ways when you make the effort to connect with them in person-as individuals and as a group. You can send short messages in emails and rely on these exchanges for most of your communication. As an alternative, you may focus on what needs to be accomplished next and neglect to take a breath, look around, and get to know the people around you. Avoid falling into this trap. Ask your team members about their immediate goals and project interests, as well as their career goals.
We’re all humans, and most of us respond well to the real thing—in-person communication that says “you matter.”
2. Thank them for their efforts.
The most common complaint from employees is that they do not feel appreciated. When someone says “nice job” or “you made a difference on this project,” we feel like we matter in a way that gives our work meaning. Our dental consultant agrees that simply saying “thank you” is a good place to start if you’re not comfortable giving verbal praise.
Next, give meaningful appreciation. Embrace the high-fives and “nice jobs” with a more detailed explanation. By doing so, your employees will be able to identify what they are doing well and do more of it. Detail-oriented praise demonstrates that you are paying attention and are not merely throwing around empty words. If people feel that they are doing good work, they are more likely to rise to the occasion.
3. Consider everyone’s ideas
All of your team members have great ideas. Their day is spent in the trenches, bringing their own experiences and perspectives to the project they are working on. As an example, if there is a way to make spreadsheets more efficient or cold-calls more productive, the team members know how to do it.
It’s tempting to stick with the protocol since you know it’s effective. The world moves so fast these days that nobody can afford to stay with the status quo for too long. Instead, create a policy of listening to new ideas (you can also structure appropriate time periods for this). This will show everyone they’re valuable. Try the good ideas; you never know what might happen-other than the team becomes more invested in their work and the project’s outcome.
4. Have faith in your team members.
Some people have a harder time following this rule than others. Try to assume that your team is made up of competent, responsible adults who don’t require childlike treatment. In action terms, this means that when you delegate, you really let go and let the individual own the task. In addition, you can communicate trust by asking team members to make decisions for their part of the project, such as:
- Providing suggestions as to when and where meetings should take place.
- Anticipating roadblocks and communicating them to the group
- You should assume that your team is committed to the success of the project. If you sense some negative energy brewing, invite a discussion about office policy; see what the majority thinks.
5. Be spontaneous and have some fun.
Even though everyone defines “fun” differently, everyone wants to have fun at work. Nevertheless, if you can keep the previous four tips in mind, then enjoying your work and being yourself will become more natural for everyone. If people feel well-connected to a team, there will be mutual respect, open communication, and acceptance of individuals, and everyone will be collaborating and working together. Teams that work well together are more likely to be spontaneous and have some fun—whether it’s a last-minute Football Friday party after a project launch or a short break in the afternoon to tell stories and have a few laughs.
Every now and then, we all need a break from the seriousness of business.
Everyone plays a role in fostering a positive work environment, regardless of whether you are a team leader or a team member. For more information, contact our dental consulting office to schedule a consultation.