Day in and day out we all have goals and objectives to meet in our professional lives. Mornings can begin with feeling miserable going to work and dread that stays with you the entire day. Or mornings can be the opposite: starting with anticipation and desire to attack the challenges of the workday with gusto—a feeling that you can accomplish anything.
The Environment Is Key
The environment we work in has a lot to do with accomplishing our goals and objectives through productivity, teamwork, and leadership. As a leader, check to see if your work environment is positive or negative, friendly and helpful or singularly out for one’s own best interest.
The leader creates and influences the work environment in which associates can either be green and growing (thriving) or ripe and rotting (dying). Being the leader requires creating and influencing a work environment of respect, discipline, trust, consistency, fairness, and constant feedback (coaching for development & accolades).
So, are you, the leader, doing all you can to have your workers approach the day with gusto every day?
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How to Get Started
This sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? You are totally right, reader. A lot of effort on the leader’s part will have to take place to help keep associates coming in and attacking their work with gusto every day. It is far easier to just tell people to do their job and do nothing about the work environment except complain about work not getting done than it is to create a nourishing positive environment that enables associates to be happy at work and accomplish much.
As the leader, you set the tone and create and influence the work environment where people can flourish and perform to expectations and beyond. You do this by utilizing the following techniques.
1. Value Work Product
Make sure all associates know that the work they do has significance to the customer, teammates, and the business. They are making important contributions to the business and each other.
2. Cultivate Ownership
Ensure all associates have and feel ownership in/of the work they are doing. Are the associates emotionally connected to the successful completion of their work? Do they understand how everyone’s work comes together to make the business successful?
3. Reward Abilities and Skills
Include associates in decision making based on abilities and allow autonomous behaviors based on skills. Are associates able to make decisions and act on them while accomplishing their work? Are they involved in deciding how the work gets done and do they participate in the betterment of processes by assisting in/and making improvements to work processes? Is their expertise noted, appreciated, and utilized?
4. Consistently Communicate and Give Feedback
Communicate regularly and provide feedback consistently. Make sure the individual and the team feel cohesiveness by being a part of the functioning business. Consistent weekly team meetings / get togethers to discuss the past weeks’ results and prep for the coming weeks’ goals and objectives is a key tool. Conduct meetings that allow for problem solving: creative thinking and brainstorming with the team to propose possible solutions to issues. Relay and discuss concerns with everyone. Consistently communicate one-on-one with each associate weekly for a feedback check-in. Make sure they are aware of their improvements, results, capabilities, and contributions. Their production should be noticed, complemented, developed—and put into action plans for the betterment of the associate and the team.
When the leader spends too much time down in the nitty gritty parts of the day-to-day business, the environment can begin to grow weeds. There is no one to nurture or maintain the associates when you, the leader, are caught in the quagmire of every little task and item that transpires every day in your workplace.
Take a step back; delegate what you can, when you can, and set a schedule for meeting times and stick to it. Credibility will be vital. Maintain your commitments and start to work on the four steps described here that will assist you in creating a “work with gusto” attitude from your associates.
You bet it’s hard work. In the long run it will make your job and your associates’ job much more enjoyable and productive. And you will become an employer of choice when it spreads that your business is such a terrific place to work.
At ATI, we teach shop owners how to how to achieve their dreams by implementing best practices in their shop. Want to learn more? Start by registering for a shop owner event at www.atievent.com.