Creating a Positive Work Environment

Without a doubt, work is a huge part of our lives — nearly 1/3 of our time will be spent in a work environment, so while you’re there, you may as well make the very best of it. I look at it like this, “If I’m going to be there, I’m going to do the best as I can in my leadership role,” and one of the most important ways I do that, is by creating a positive work environment for my employees.

All successful leaders create positive work environments, and you can too. To help you out, I’ve put together a list of positive work environment traits that some of our most successful leaders embody, in the hopes that you’ll implement them into your personal leadership development plan in the near future as well. Read them, implement them, put them on your list of goals for the year, and see how great of an effect they have on the growth of revenue and employee leadership development at your company. I know you’ll be very happy with the results.

Focus on what employees are doing right, and build upon those strengths.
Turning something that an employee does good, into something they do great, will have far more reaching benefits, than turning something that an employee does bad, into something that they do good. You get what I’m saying here — focus on their strengths, and form a team that’s built on what they do great.

Dump the 1980’s style micromanaging.
Stop with this nonsense type of management because it flat out leads to resentments, unhappiness, and the employee ultimately leaving. The workforce today doesn’t need to have someone looking over their shoulder, they’ve been brought up to work independently, and can get the work done, as long as they have clear directions. Remember, just because you did things a certain way when you were growing up, doesn’t mean that those ways are still correct today.

Always be considerate of how changes in the compensation plan are going to affect employees.
It’s tough for employees to work for free, especially when they have families and bills to pay. Make sure before you go hijacking the compensation plan, you think about who it’s going to affect the most, and make sure that you’re not going to lose any employees in the process. For me, I love paying someone when they do a job well, so I always look to pay the people that excel within my organization, the most money.

Never allow any type of hazing or bullying.
This may sound stupid to have to say in an adult workplace, but unfortunately it still happens. Immediately stop any type of activities that may be construed as hazing or bullying. Yes, cutting the new guys tie after his first deal is hazing. It’s ok to have fun, but there’s a big difference between causing uncomfortableness vs. taking an employee out to lunch as a team as a congratulatory event. If you have to think about whether what you’re doing, is right or wrong, it’s probably wrong, so stop in your tracks, and don’t do it.

Keep the human element in every interaction.
I always talk about the human element because it’s so vitally important to understand. When you cut yourself, you bleed, it doesn’t matter what gender, race, or ethnicity you are — so treat everyone the same. There’s never any room for ignorance. We’re all human, we all have emotions, and we’re all eventually going to mess up at some point — the key for you in your leadership role, is to be understanding and help employees through whatever they’re going through.

Focus on team performance and employees working well together.
Have people with similar interests and skill sets, work together on the same team. The idea is to get maximum productivity out of every team. The power of like-minded smart employees working together is incredible. New ideas will be discovered, deeper more enriching and accountable relationships will be formed, and ultimately, your company will come out on top because your employees will feel that they’re part of a greater whole.

Make sure employees have work-life balance.
Everyone needs to take a break and spend time relaxing or partaking in an activity that they love. As an employer, if you’re pounding on everyone with the 24/7 work theme, you’re not going to have happy employees for very long. Yes, people may buy into this philosophy at first because they’re drinking the Kool-Aid, but after a while, they start to breakdown and realize that this way of, “all work and no play,” just isn’t what life is all about. Make sure your employees are taking time off to spend with their families, and make sure they’re taking time to do what they love.

Stay way out in front of issues.
Without a doubt, there are going to be issue that come up. There are many different dynamics in business, some in your control, and some out of your control, and then you match that with different employee and management personalities, and you have a strong probability of issues arising. The best thing to do, is nip them in the bud, immediately. Letting issues linger will only create an atmosphere of animosity within your company. The faster you take care of issues that arise, the faster you’ll move beyond them, and the more happy employees you’ll have.

Provide continual education for employees.
Your employees are the lifeblood of your company. They’re an extension of you, so invest time and money into making them the absolute best people they can be — not only in business, but in their personal lives as well. Education is paramount to continual employee growth. Employees may not want to take part in education opportunities at first, but once they’ve completed what they’ve been asked to participate in, they’ll be thanking you.

Honor every employee commitment.
If you say you’re going to increase pay for employees every year, than do it. Never commit to anything that you’re not going to be able to stick to. Treat commitments like cement — strong, secure, and lasting. Breaking commitments, breaks trust, and when you break trust, you lose the ability to transfer messages to your employees because they’re not going to believe in what you’re saying.

Promote the right people, for the right jobs.
There’s nothing worse for an employee to see a co-worker that’s really not the best person for the job, actually get a job they have no right getting. This is a moral crusher and it will take away positive energy from your staff. If someone is doing a great job for you, but they don’t have the same education or background that another employee has, who cares, put the person that’s doing the great job in the spot. Reward employees that are doing great jobs, by moving them into new roles where they can continue to challenge themselves. If you promote the wrong people, you’re eventually going to have to go back, fire them, and then hire the right people, so just do it correctly the first time, and you’ll save a bunch of time and money.

Bring the best out in every employee.
There’s no better feeling than seeing an employee that may have been a little rough around the edges, come through as your shining star. Great leaders have a knack for bringing out the very best out in employees. Look at it like this, “It’s not what you did for yourself that people are going to remember, it’s what you did for other people.” Leave your imprint on the world, and your company, by providing an enriching work environment where people can learn, excel in what they do, and put some serious money in the bank.

There you have them, my list of positive work environment traits that top leaders embody. As I always say, “If you don’t do anything with the information you learn, what sense is there in learning it in the first place.” Let this information sink in, pick out one or two of traits above, and implement them in your organization, then pick out another one or two, and implement them. You need to be moving in a positive direction on a daily basis for best results. I challenge you as a business leader, to create a positive work environment that truly touches your employees hearts.