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It’s a no-brainer that a workplace environment that cultivates its employees with positivity and a sense of real worth tends to be more productive as a result. Indeed, setting them up to fail doesn’t make a great deal of business sense. But this poses a legitimate challenge for any employer: What exactly is the right way to go about maintaining that positive work culture?
Be it in a low-rent studio, office space, or corporate skyscraper, employers will find that managing an effective team isn’t so different in its approach from one workplace to the other as it may seem. While there is no guaranteed formula for success and there are many different factors at play, there are several savvy practices that can assist anyone in a position of authority.
Perhaps the most common, yet often overlooked tidbits of advice, is ensuring that an employee’s voice is valued and taken into account. This provides vital insight into what makes how the work of the company is actually complete. It is from the employee’s direct real-time experience that productivity, satisfaction, and improved performance over time are calculated.
If an employee needs to signal their employer about an important matter, the employer should make it their priority to hear it. If they have a suggestion as to how their own workflow can be improved, listen up.
This does more than let the employee know that they matter to the company that hired them. Showing your employees appreciation will more than likely make them enjoy working for you better than they would for a cut-throat boss. It also motivates them to stay loyal with their tenure and abstain from seeking new means of employment.
The quality of their work will also make a notable uptick, which should be the aim of every enterprise. As readers will soon see there is nothing—statistically or humanely— productive about a high-stress environment. Employers should help their businesses and keep an open ear.
In turn, when there is something an employee should know from their employer it’s all too easy to fall into the same old trap of “my-way-or-the-highway.” Easing up the throttle and going in with tacit observation will save everyone from a harsh crash in the long run.
A 2011 study for the Ivey Business Journal by psychology and business professor Richard Boyatzis, conducted a test for a number of participants. It finds that most negative criticisms, especially abstract criticisms—how one dresses, speaks, greets, etc.—brushes over the worker’s own personal experience. Their expressive approach is then often compared to a one-sided model for excellence.
The average person can’t read another’s mind. It’s impossible for them to completely adhere to the employer’s criticisms from an objective point of view. It actually muddles what they could do to improve.
Harsh correction “inhibits access to existing neural circuits and invokes cognitive, emotional, and perceptual impairment,” says Richard Boyatzis in his study. Focusing on what an employee does wrong instead of what they’re already doing right potentially limits their potential from ever exceeding the adequacy needed to complete their given tasks.
The previous stipulations lead directly into the next. If it better suits an employer to build a foundation of good work rather than mediocre, it follows that they should also look for what separates them from other employees as well. This is as important as making their voices feel heard.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety notes that strained team interactions and performance tend to come from heightened nerves. These are derived from stressful factors. A team leader that sees workers as accessories rather than assets exacerbates the issues.
How a worker goes about their individual routines and team interactions is as personal an expression of themselves as any painting hung on the wall. Fostering the productive aspects of their ethic will make them feel as if they themselves are responsible for the work being finished.
Treating people as special and not an item to be thrown out at any given time has its humanitarian advantages. But sometimes emphasizing company wellness isn’t enough to sway the shrewdest of owners. They most certainly will balk at the fiscal difference.
Another 2011 study involving 3,000 employees initiated by Sunday Azagba and Mesbah Sharaf of Concordia University Montreal, concluded that “high job stress is associated with higher utilization of health care services.” No one likes a boss who constantly breathes down their neck.
What they don’t tell workers is that such an environment is directly linked to underlying health issues, especially heart conditions. By this study’s findings, companies that dangle their employee’s livelihoods over them like a carrot on a stick are much more likely to increase their healthcare pay-outs by nearly 50% compared to others.
This is ultimately unsustainable in the long run. Prioritizing the work over the employee will eventually lead to a decrease in productivity over time. The NIOSH report on Stress.org even stipulates that most census workers reported that “job stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems.” About “80% of workers feel stress on the job” in their American Workplace VII report.
A company that stands out is one that cares for its workers and provides the resources necessary for their well-being. This will almost certainly improve the quality of the work being done and save on unnecessary expenses.
Too often does the workplace cite rampant issues of trust between those who are supposed to be a leading example and those who try their best to exemplify company values and fall short of its imaginary goalposts.
The power of factual evidence and direct employee experience support this notion. For the sake of those who really make businesses run it’s imperative that the corporate overlord culture adapt. By establishing company values and fostering those who champion them early, any burgeoning start-up can potentially save big on future losses.
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