With Halloween just around the corner, many workplaces are in the Halloween “spirit” such as having bowls full of candy, and even holding costume contests. But what about after Halloween has come and gone, is your workplace letting off a scary vibe year-round?
For instance, do employees get howled at if they’ve done something wrong? Is your office dark and dingy, more or less like a dungeon of some sort? Are some employees checked out where they almost act dead, or numb toward their role and the company? Okay, catch my drift (and the Halloween references)?
It’s no secret that a happy workforce equals productive and engaged employees, and many times it all comes down to the company culture. Every company has a culture, and it is up to the leadership to set the tone. One important way to establish a positive workplace culture is to make sure your employees are motivated.
As a leader, you have many rewards available to you, and one way to motivate people is to give them incentives and rewards. Whether or not you can offer salary increases or promotions, you can offer appreciation and acknowledgment for the good work of others.
Sure, it is important to honor birthdays, employee anniversaries and to make sure there is accurate light in the office (to not give off a dungeon vibe). But another vital way to set an encouraging workplace culture is to empower your employees.
When you empower your employees, it means you are open to input and support initiative in others. Listening to and involving your direct reports in a discussion is a key skill in building commitment for organizational success. By encouraging others to participate, you elicit ideas for solving problems and find the best solutions. When your employees contribute they feel more ownership of the project or plan at hand.
Think about your leadership style in recent months, were you open to suggestions from your employees? If not, you may be perceived as not valuing suggestions, so you may not receive many. Or you may not listen respectfully to what others have to say.
When you don’t listen to suggestions, this cuts you off from good ideas for solving problems or charting a new direction for your team or organization. It also diminishes initiative from others. People possibly feel that their good work is not praised or rewarded, so morale may be lower than it could be.
We won’t leave this one a cliffhanger; here are some tips to remember:
- Make it a goal to recognize the positive contributions of each person you work with at least once each week.
- Two keys to motivating team members are to first understand what they find rewarding, and then to administer the desired rewards for behaviors that are aligned with team success.
- Catch team members doing something right. Then make sure you give them positive feedback.
- Hold special recognition or celebration lunches to acknowledge team member accomplishments or successful completion of projects.
- Recognize that the higher up on the organizational ladder you are, the more important it is for you to ask others for their opinions and to just listen when they talk. Some people are reluctant to talk with those higher in the organization. With these people, it is important that you actively seek their ideas and contributions.
While it is fun to be scared during Halloween, it’s another thing to be scared of where you work. Remember that when your company culture is encouraging ideas and input, employees will be motivated and even thankful to come to work.
Hmm, maybe you should aim to have a Thanksgiving vibe, or better yet just make sure you empower your employees.