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How to Create a Working Environment Your Employees Will Thank You For

It’s Monday morning. Your alarm has been going off for about 30 minutes but you just can’t stop hitting snooze. Hey, maybe you’re tired after all of the relaxing you did over the weekend. Or, maybe, you’re just dreading heading into the office. And, if you don’t have the option of working from home, you’re really in trouble. Time to drag yourself out of bed for another soul-crushing day at work.

Now, if you’re living out the same scenario and you’re the boss, you actually do have some control over your own working environment. In fact, as the boss, some may say that you have most of the control. You’re the one who is responsible for creating a working environment in which your employees can thrive.

Happier employees equal better, more efficient, and higher quality work. Don’t believe me? This study, this article, and this one all agree that the happier your employees are, the better equipped they are to do good work. Even Harvard Business School agrees. And, how do you make your employees happier? By creating a working environment that your employees will thank you for.

Aim for respect, not fear

I think we’ve all encountered that quintessentially intimidating boss at some point in our lives. You know, the one you hate to love, or love to hate? While this Hollywoodian image of a scary employer does seem to ring true in some industries, try to fight against in your own leadership role. Of course, you want your employees to respect you. With that respect will also come good work. But, you don’t need to use intimating scare tactics to get that respect.

Your employees’ motivation and desire to work is directly impacted by the working environment they are put in. Fear means a negative environment and respect means a positive one.

Here are some ways to gain respect in a healthy way:

  • Don’t ignore conflicts, resolve them as quickly as possible.
  • Be assertive, not aggressive.
  • Accept criticism and learn from it.
  • Forget about trying to be right all the time.
  • Keep an open mind and aim to be judgment-free.

Communication is essential

As with any type of human connection, communication is key in employer-employee relationships. As an employer, you need to be very clear about your expectations if you want better results. If your employees don’t know what you expect from them, how can they perform in the ways you, well, expect. Be as clear and direct as possible and, if you’re unhappy with something, take a tip from above and don’t ignore or avoid an eventual conflict. Aim to give constructive criticism for better results.

You should also consider taking an interest in your employees’ personal lives (without being invasive). That’s not to say that you should be up to date on every facet of every one of your employees’ lives, but it can be helpful in certain situations and can help your employees feel more appreciated and recognized.

Reward and recognize good work

Americans are often chided for their focus on reward and recognition. It may be true, but I guess that’s just how we’re wired these days. Instead of fighting against this trend, embrace it! In the end, if the result is quality work, why not?

As far as how to show your appreciation, the choice is yours. You may decide to recognize your employees’ achievements in front of the entire office, or you (and your employees) may feel more comfortable with a one-on-one meeting in which you congratulate them for a job well done. If you’re feeling stuck, don’t be afraid to send out a company-wide email to simply ask your employees how they’d like to be recognized and rewarded. That way you’ll get the answer straight from the horse’s mouth, as the saying goes.

Give your employees some space

No one likes to be micro-managed. It can be demeaning and ineffective. In fact, employees that feel trusted by you and are not constantly hovered over tend to feel more confident and therefore work better.

Micro-managing can cause resentment which can then go on to create a negative working environment. And, if your employees resent you, they aren’t likely to want to work well. Remember why you hired your colleagues in the first place and remember to trust in their skills and managing abilities. You may think about occasionally taking the back seat and letting your managers or team leaders run important meetings without your input.

Work-life balance can make all the difference

Ah, the old work-life balance adage. This is an article about creating a quality working environment after all, so I had to include it! While the cliché of working from 9 am-midnight isn’t quite a cliché in many industries, one can hope that it is on its way out.

As an employer, it’s more important than ever to recognize that your employees have a life outside of work. That means not pressuring your colleagues to work late or on the weekends. If you have a team of motivated employees that want to work crazy hours, that’s great news for you, but make sure that you reiterate that it’s not a priority. You’ll quickly notice that it’s not usually necessary to work more than 40 hours a week in order to get good results. Burn out is the real deal, people.

Plan a curated company retreat

Team building doesn’t have to be as…lame as it sounds. Forget about a focus on ice-breakers and other ridiculous “bonding” exercises. Remember these tips when planning a curated company retreat :

  • Pick a convenient yet equally awesome location.
  • Keep to a schedule.
  • Stay responsible and accountable: this goes for employers and employees.

And, if you’re still stuck, that’s where we come in. We’d love to help you plan a corporate retreat that your employees won’t hate. Send us an email to say hi and we’ll be happy to assist!

You’ll soon learn that with a little effort on your part as an employer, your employees will love you for it. And, chances are that if your employees like you and the working environment you’ve created, they’ll aim to please and produce excellent work as a result. If that isn’t a win-win, I’m not sure what is.

Originally published at https://expeeriences.com on June 10, 2020.



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Molli Sébrier

Molli Sébrier

Musings on feminism, books, and human connections.