Happiness in the workplace is based on many aspects and may differ from one employee to another : a good boss, stimulating projects, recognition and reward, work stability, and/or pleasant ambiance, to name a few, can help someone walk into work feeling motivated.
As a manager, creating an environment that will bring out the best in your employees is imperative to the success of the company. Here are a few tips to improve your working environment.
1- Show a vulnerable side
People often perceive managers and other leadership roles as powerful, resilient and invincible. Their image of strength can also be misinterpreted as unapproachable or having some magical armor that protects them from the hurdles that those under their supervision are faced with.
Whether it be the misconception of employees towards their managers, or the manager’s inability to demonstrate a softer, more humane side, the key point is that showing some form of vulnerability can be quite encouraging to employees. It lets them know that you too are subject to mistakes, regrets and frustration, that criticism and rejection can also have an impact on your state of mind.
Displaying an image of flawlessness can be more intimidating than inspiring, which can leave employees feeling pretty defeated by they own shortcomings.
Showing that you are just as human as everyone else will improve the working environment as you will be more relatable to your workers, and they will be more likely to follow you as opposed to being threatened by you. They may also come to realize that the hidden leader in themselves can emerge, despite not being perfect.
Demonstrating and even embracing vulnerability can be very empowering to others, which can have a positive effect on performance and success.
2- Know the strengths of your employees and use them
As managers, do you know your employees? I mean really know your employees? What motivates them, how they handle stress or emergencies, how they learn, what support they require to be at their very best, and more importantly, what projects bring out the best in them?
Uncovering their innate strengths will help you delegate tasks and responsibilities that are aligned with their talents and natural reflexes. A psychometric test can reveal such personality traits in order to discover your team’s true potential.
Not only will employees feel understood by their managers and also feel important enough that you took the time to get to know them and their best attributes, but they will also feel more at ease in a position that allows their talents to shine through. This can decrease frustrations and conflicts and improve the working environment because happy employees leads to business happiness.
As a manager, take the time to discover certain aspects of your employees that may not be apparent on the surface, as you never know what amazing strengths you will find!
3- Make time for group activities.
When you think about it, you typically spend more time alongside your co-workers than you do with friends, sometimes even family. It’s no wonder maintaining a pleasant rapport with them can ultimately lead to happiness at work.
Even if your organization is comprised of people working alone, on their individual objectives, and requiring little need for teamwork, it is still important to create a sense of belonging for your employees. They still indirectly work together on a common goal: the success of the company.
Planning team-building exercises and/or group activities will help improve working environments as it first and foremost creates awareness among peers. This awareness can bring a sense of ease, appreciation and bonding for many employees, which may increase motivation to get up in the morning and go to work.
Seeing your co-worker as more than just “that person that provides you with weekly reports” can help increase respect and understanding for them. Creating synergy can also be as simple as a group lunch or after-work outing at the local restaurant. It does not have to be fancy or formal, but it should allow employees to participate in some shape or form and be able to take something positive away from the experience.
Using a psychometric test to create this “behind the scene” look at your employee’s natural and innate strengths can also be an objective start to a team-building activity and the awareness among peers.
4- Be aware of performance and give feedback
Sometimes this is easier said than done. As a manager, you are typically seeing the big picture and handling more upper level responsibilities, therefore less on the field seeing the day to day activities of your employees. This can make it more difficult to detect any issues or tensions that might be arising.
Although it is important to maintain that helicopter vision, it is also important to schedule some time to zero in on your team’s performance and mood. Are expectations being met on a regular basis, is there tension among peers, do certain employees seem distracted or unable to concentrate, are they going through a stressful period, do they need support, etc…
Giving continuous feedback, but also tools on how to improve, will help guide your employees to a desired outcome and set a clearer path for success. This can improve working environments as managers will become more aware of the performances of their teams, their developmental and motivational needs and even help to prevent burnouts.
Constructive feedback is not always easy to give and can take you out of your comfort zone, especially when faced with a nonperforming employee. However, when approached the right way and not delayed, it can be the guiding light to your team’s success.
Showing your vulnerable side, making time for group activities, giving proper feedback and especially knowing the strengths of your employees is crucial to improve any working environment.
As a manager, ask yourself if you are creating a work atmosphere that motivates your employees to come in every morning.
Discover your employees natural reflexes now and create awareness within your workforce!