Improving work life for your team-Part 2

BY lifeworkswhen

In Part 2 of my tips on improving work life for your team, we are looking at the bigger picture.  So, let’s continue to think about ways we can improve the workplace for our teams and for ourselves. Although these tips are aimed at the workplace, they can be generalised to your philosophy of life too. It seems an easy concept but creating a happy place for people to do their job isn’t always as easy at it seems. Sometimes even with the best of intentions, workplace environments can softly slide into places of discontent, conflict or become generally uncomfortable. In making sure we maintain a welcoming zone for employees to return to every day, try some of these options.

Here are 5 ways that affect the quality of our working life, which we can work on.

1.Good Working Environment:

We spend, a lot of time at work. Often more time than we do at home. That is why it is important we create a congenial working environment, where we are happy to come and sit side by side with others. You can check how your workplace is travelling by reflecting on the following areas:

  • Does your team work well together or look forward to tasks that require group dynamics?
  • Are your employees and management effective together? Do they offer to help each other out and provide support when needed?
  • Professional Friendship. Do your colleagues, employees and management relate in a friendly, professional manner? Do they exhibit loyalty?
  • Mutual respect. Irrelevant of the jobs and positions, does your team and management demonstrate respect and respectful interactions in the workplace and outside of their jobs?

These four areas of need can be indicators of a good working environment which, in return, will attract employees and retain them to stay longer with your company.

In contrast, whether it is because you are so busy, have your eyes off the big picture or maybe, things have run so smoothly in the past you’re not looking for problems, there are danger signs that can heed the workplace environment is on a downward spiral.

  • A big problem is insipid and valueless politicking behind people’s backs. Disgruntled saboteurs motivated by negative wants, can turn neutral discussions and meetings into political debates for personal gains.
  • Negative gossiping is a toxin in workplaces. Whether it is a personality clash, emotionally unwell individual or envy, being involved in or playing the role of a bystander, to negative gossip creates emotional instability and plants seeds of disloyalty and doubt in otherwise healthy workplaces.
  • Lying, cheating and stealing are obvious acts that make our work environments unsafe and uncomfortable. These negative practices and illegal actions discourage people to work in a company if not addressed quickly and resolutely. We all need boundaries and consequences. Especially at work, where our actions affect all who share our work days.

Good working environments bind employees to each other and to the company.

 2.Empowerment:

Empowerment means giving people the power, authority, freedom and responsibility to carry out their jobs. In other words, don’t micro manage. People cannot learn to grow in a role (or in life), if they are not allowed to struggle, fail and problem solve how to be successful. Autonomy allows us to have a sense of control over our work and makes employees feel valued. Empowerment leads to greater job satisfaction, contentment in the role, endurance and accomplishment. All which leads to better commitment and loyalty from the team. Empowerment is an important motivational tool that makes employees independent by giving them the means, ability and authority to do the work.

3.Hiring the Right People:

One of the worst mistakes companies can make is hiring wrong people. It only takes one person to disrupt and damage a healthy team. Introducing someone new with negative attitudes, low job competence, who do not meet the requirements of the jobs they are hired for is a recipe for chaos.  Spend the time and the money to get it right. Know what skills and abilities the team needs and understand the workplace culture, to help employ the best individual for the job, the team and the company.

 4.Work/Life Balance:

Helping employees to achieve balance between work and their personal lives encourages a happy work environment. Many studies have revealed that work life balance is one of the main concerns of employees. Organisations which enable employees to balance work and family responsibilities experience a return in the positive impact on employees’ longevity. You will know when the balance is off, when you note an increase in sick leave, lowering work output and increased conflict.

 5.Go out of your way.

One of the most highly appreciated behaviors of successful companies is where management, (and employees) go out of the way to help each other. Some actions that bring high employee reward are, visiting employees when they are seriously ill, attending celebrations, making time available to catch up or offering different ways of supporting someone through illness, mental or physical. These gestures are normally reciprocated by employees in the form of commitment to their employers and the larger organisation.

How about doing something global? Going out of your way to show empathy to a cause or aligning the company values with a need socially or economically will demonstrate the ethical and moral values of the organisation. Donations and mission statements with actions, can be powerful ways to improve the workplace, value add to the organisation and bond a team together.

Part 3 of improving your workplace will move closer to home and look at how you, as an individual, can improve your own workplace.

Stay tuned. Stay healthy.