“The atmosphere of a place is the most amazing element that raises or lowers the value of that place!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan
We all want to work somewhere comfortable, right? We all like the idea of working in a place that is mindful of its employees and their wellbeing, don’t we? So, as a conscious leader and a conscious business, how do you sow the seeds for growing a workplace with a positive atmosphere?
Of course, if you are at the top of the business, with countless people working under you, you cannot be responsible for every single employee’s attitude and positivity. However, there are things you can do to encourage and successfully implement an atmosphere that respects, supports and brings happiness to all who work there.
1. Set an Example
Conscious leadership is as much about making the big decisions as it is about setting an example. How you conduct yourself and how you treat other people is the benchmark for conduct in your business. If you think it is alright to speak to other people disrespectfully, dress carelessly, slack or turn up late… then there is no reason for others to do the same. It is also very hard to pull employees up on these things if you, yourself, do not adhere to your own rules of conduct. Be an example. Set the bar high.
2. Set Clear Codes of Conduct
In addition to setting a good personal example, be clear about what behaviour you expect from your employees. This lets them know that you are serious about wellbeing, but it also helps people to know where the line is and when to hold other employees accountable. If the lines are blurred about conduct, then people find it much more difficult to know where they are with one another, and whether they should be taking issue with certain things or not. Clarity is much more a friend to positivity than ambiguity.
3. Do Not Outlaw Mistakes
I have worked in many a place where I have been terrified to make a mistake. Working somewhere where it is thought of as criminal to act like a human and make the occasional mistake is very uncomfortable indeed. Don’t create a place where mistakes come with a price.
First of all, mistakes are where we learn lessons. Without them, we stunt growth.
Second, if people fear making mistakes, they will make them anyway (because everybody does) and hide them from you. And that is a slippery slope.
4. Trust Your Employees
Micromanagement is something to be avoided at all costs. When you employ someone to do a job, you should do so because you trust them to be able to do it. Micromanaging damages morale because it implies that you do not trust the employee or have respect for their skills and talents. Assume the best in your workforce, not the worst.
5. Flexible Working
Even if you love your job, it is not healthy for it to be your whole world. Everyone has a life outside of work, and that life will be complex with many moving parts. If you can implement an empathetic system that allows workers to attend to their life outside of the workplace when needed, then they will be happier for it. Not only does a workplace that makes it hard to take time off when needed grow resentment, but it also means that the employee in question has more on their min when at work and is, therefore, less happy and probably less productive.
6. Encourage Collaboration and Communication
When employees have a better measure of one another they will find it easier to get on. Communication will help them to understand one another, and to know what their talents, triggers, fears, loves and habits are. This all builds toward a more empathetic, understanding and interconnected workforce.
By Chris Thomson
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