Creating a healthy work environment keeps our key people engaged and loyal in an era when we’re demanding they do more with less. Not healthy in the sense of lots of fresh air and few toxic chemicals knocking around (although that’s always a good start), but a healthy psychological work environment—one where providing recognition for exemplary performance seems normal. There are several key elements to achieving this.
1. Open Communications
There are too many old-economy attitudes abroad in our businesses. In the old economy, scarcity was the driving force—information was power, and those who had information hoarded it and kept it scarce. That way, they amassed great power, privilege and wealth. Look around—the world has changed dramatically. Our modern economy is based on abundance—those who prosper are those who share information with everyone and anyone who can make use of it effectively. This is the information age, and any environment where the workforce has not tapped into all that’s going on in their organization is toxic. Suspicion, mistrust and resentment grow—and key people go.
Let all of your people know where the organization is going; how it plans to get there; how their jobs play a part in the grand scheme of things; and why they are key to your success. Their contribution is just as valuable as the CEOs, and they know it. Let them know that you know it, too. Spread information liberally throughout your organization; give your people an I’m on the inside! feeling—it’s hard to leave something that has you on the inside.
2. Develop an Attitude of Cooperation
Give and take is the order of the day. Be prepared to consider anything that makes it easier and more practical to work for you than for anyone else. Look at flexible hours, compassionate leave, sabbaticals, teleworking, childcare facilities—anything you can afford to do that shows that you are prepared to meet your people halfway (or more) in balancing their work/personal life commitments.
3. Develop an Atmosphere of Trust
If you want people to trust you (with their jobs, their careers, their development—their lives), then you have to trust them. Create an atmosphere where management automatically expects the best of its team members—they’ll respond. Give people a good reputation to live up to—they won’t let you down. This is one of the key sources of recognition—no one is more flattered than when they are trusted implicitly.
Achieving these objective requires skilled front line managers. Those organizations that take selecting and developing managers seriously have a much better change of creating a healthy work environment desired by the C-Suite.
Source: Profiles International