Have you ever hated your place of work? Maybe you love your job, but the place you perform the work is less than desirable. I’ve been there too and had to muscle through. If you relate to this struggle, this article is for you.
Or perhaps you are a manager and a leader in an organization. If so, your employees count on you to provide a positive work environment. If you fall short in this area, the results you are striving for may elude you, whether in a church or in a business. This article is for you too.
Here are some things that can help make your place of work the most desirable and the most productive possible. These principles are based on my own experience, some good Harvard Research, and insights I’ve gained from other business books I’ve read. When these elements exist, people not only stay, they also contribute to your overall mission.
1. Cast clear vision.
Without vision, people perish. This is true for individuals, churches and corporations. Vision is the thing that causes a person to make it through the mundane day-to-day in anticipation for the future. When vision is lacking, then laziness, gossip and infighting can become the norm. A future goal gives the people in your organization something to fuel their efforts.
2. Maintain great communication.
When a leadership decision is made, managers and executives should immediately ask (1) “Who does this affect?” and (2) “How should we tell them?” When you communicate with the people you are leading in a timely, effective and personal manner, loyalty follows. Avoid spin or false transparency. Give your audience everything you can, as soon as you can. No one likes surprises unless it’s a party.
3. Care for them personally.
Some of the best companies in the world care for employees in very personal ways. Whether it is through nap pods or monthly sponsored date nights for employees with their spouses, organizations should always look for opportunities to care for the people who keep the gears in motion. Compensation is a part of the picture. Provide adequate or above average salary and benefits. When we care for our employees, the impact is felt by their families and therefore reduces friction or any insubordination that could fester up. When my wife is happy with my workplace, I am a much better employee; the same is true for those I lead.
4. Provide encouragement from the top.
I had a staff member tell me recently that he does not get a lot of encouragement from the top. He said, “I only hear from leadership when something is wrong.” I apologized profusely. This should never be the case. Cross-departmental encouragement is great, but nothing can replace encouragement from our supervisors. It is important that employees hear praise from the top for their achievements and hard work.