Your company’s leadership team plays a big role in how employees feel while on the job. Often, managers are largely responsible for the culture of a workplace and have a significant impact on morale and engagement among workers. One issue tends to be that leaders are often preoccupied with overseeing company products and services, and culture can easily fall by the wayside. Luckily, there are ways to use your leadership skills to keep your employees happier longer. Here’s what you can do to improve your workplace today.
Observe Workplace Interactions
You can’t institute cultural change without understanding the current state in your business. To help you gain a better understanding, start by paying attention to all the workplace interactions you witness. Consider how the employees treat one another during conversations. Determine whether each team member is being heard and whether those around them treat them with respect. You also want to see if workers are showing appreciation for the efforts of others and acknowledging one another’s accomplishments.
By carefully observing your workplace, you’ll gain valuable insights into the current culture. Then, if you want more information, don’t be afraid to ask your employees about how they are generally treated. Allow them to speak without defending the actions of others. This allows them to air their frustrations while you learn about issues that may need addressing.
Set Ground Rules
Now that you’ve observed how your employees interact, it’s time to intervene against anything that is harming your culture. Start small by creating some simple ground rules that provide guidance regarding what is considered acceptable behavior.
Limit yourself to five initial rules, and consider focusing them on specific activities, like meetings. List what you want workers to do instead of what you don’t want. This gives them clear instruction regarding expectations and can help create a more effective and productive environment.
Once the rules are set, make sure you adhere to them personally. Your team looks to you for an example of what is considered acceptable behavior, so make sure you are ready to live up to these expectations, as well.
Address Poor Behavior Immediately
After the ground rules have been set, you’ll need to enforce them. Your employees now understand what is expected of them, so taking action when someone breaks the rules is acceptable.
Failing to act when a worker makes a misstep allows others to question the validity of your guidelines. Instead, as soon as someone acts out of line, such as by demeaning a co-worker, put an end to it immediately. Once the situation has been stopped in its tracks, you can save any additional disciplinary action for a private meeting between yourself and the employee. The important thing is to show everyone that misaligned behaviors won’t be tolerated and that you will intervene.
If you’re currently looking for a new employee who will fit into your ideal culture, The Advance Group can help you locate top candidates in the Michigan and Ohio areas. Contact us to discuss your vacancies today.