Marc Belaiche, Director at Torontojobs.ca and strategic partner of Sprigg offers his insights into how to create an amazing work environment:
Most managers strive to create a workplace where their employees look forward to coming to work every day and the team works effectively and efficiently together through the day.
This article gives you some ideas as to how a manager can create an amazing work environment.
Get to know each other
Let employees get to know each other. Have potluck lunches or get everyone out of the office periodically to allow for employees to socialize on a more personalized basis. Share laughs with employees.
Get out of your office
A manager can’t create an amazing environment by not being visible and staying in their office with a closed door. Don’t isolate yourself. Walk the floor. Be available.
Aristotle said “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Try to have employees think of the big picture and put the organization’s needs ahead of their own. Focus on celebrating team accomplishments instead of identifying individual accomplishments. Reward the team for achieving goals or reaching certain targets.
Pay your employees market compensation subject to budget limitations. Ensure compensation between employees is fair based on responsibilities and seniority. Tie extra perks to achievement of goals.
Create a comfortable environment
Have a safe, comfortable and esthetically pleasing environment. Tidy up. Upgrade furniture if necessary. Brighten up the environment by allowing more natural light into the work area.
Define clear expectations
Have high expectations of your team, but not too high that they are perceived to be unattainable right from the start. Set goals that can be easily measured and are easily viewed by everyone, such as posting them on whiteboards. Have the team be involved in setting the goals.
Resolve disputes quickly
Don’t let disputes or disagreements continue unchecked. Address problem areas on a timely basis. Resolve disputes behind closed doors. Handle all situations on a professional basis.
Have policies and procedures in place to address any issues that might occur.
Communicate regularly in an open and positive manner. Let employees voice their disagreement with any policies, procedures, methods or decisions.
Adapt to the team
Adopt a different management style depending on each team member. Allow for flexibility in policies if necessary. Recognize differences in employee needs based on gender, religion, age and other factors that might differentiate employees.
Give credit, take blame
Give credit to others for successes and take responsibility for errors, mistakes and oversights.
Make sure that people are taking breaks or vacation when needed. Recognize when an employee may be getting stressed and needs time off.
Give immediate feedback – good or bad – as it happens. Don’t wait for annual performance appraisals. Highlight an employee’s strengths and work with them to improve their weaknesses. Don’t sugar coat problems – address problem issues quickly before they can grow into bigger problems. Give your employees work that they enjoy doing.
Make sure that employees have the opportunity to make suggestions to improve the workplace or the team. Have regular meetings to encourage brainstorming.
There are many ways to create an amazing work environment. Following some of the tips noted above will help, but it is also a long term process and not something that can be quickly turned on.
This article was first published on July 12th 2013 in Sprigg’s partner magazine, HRreview.
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