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Just so we are clear when I say “Healthy Work Environment”, I don’t mean yoga and fruit bowls in the kitchen on Wednesdays.
I’m talking about creating a workplace where people feel valued, respected and love going to work every day. A place where they feel safe enough, to be honest with you and their peers. A place where they have the freedom to execute quality outcomes without being micromanaged. A place where they are happy, productive and accepted.
That’s my interpretation of a healthy work environment. I mean yoga and fruit bowls are great perks, but you can still eat the company banana while you are looking for a way out.
So… how does one go about creating a healthy work environment?
Well, it starts with you and in my opinion, it starts with building trust with those you Lead. And… if you are a consistent reader of mine, then you know that I am going to tell you that you can’t build trust without connection.
Once you are consistently connecting with your team, then it makes way for trust. And once you have trust, then that means you are getting out of their way and letting them have ownership of their work.
Now, I’m not talking about the absentee manager who basically leaves their team on their own to sink or swim. Far from it. “On their own” is very different from being responsible for their work.
The manager I’m talking about is one that has worked on his or her relationships so much, that the team knows they are responsible for their work… however… they also know if they get stuck, their manager will help and support them through to a successful outcome.
The manager I’m talking about gets excited when new ideas are floated on how to work more efficiently, provide better customer service or getting things done.
The manager I’m talking about allows for healthy debate among their team. They know that a team working together discussing the various options for a solution will find the best one for the most successful outcome.
The manager I’m talking about allows their team to venture into new territory in the name of innovation. And that same manager knows that if they fail, then they fail together and turn that failure into a learning lesson instead of a finger-pointing exercise.
But it all starts with your ability to invest in each and every person on your team. Connection means you talk with them (casually and formally) in a myriad of ways (in the kitchen, in team meetings, in one on ones and email). That you listen to what they have to say and you act on their input. And lastly, you keep your commitments and promises.
From there trust will build and build quickly. Then you will have a team that is excited to be at work each day because they know they are valued and understand their purpose in the organization.
So, my question to you is… what are you doing to build a Healthy Work Environment?
Be a Connected Leader.