Why is it so difficult to be happy at work? Gallup surveys show that more than two-thirds of the workforce globally are emotionally disconnected from their work and are less likely to be productive. I have managed teams and been managed by bosses for the last 15 years now and have arrived on one recurring theme that is absolutely essential for employee engagement and work place happiness and productivity – RESPECT.
We spend half our waking hours on working. Excellence at work is only possible if we provide a safe haven for our people. Happy employees are significantly more productive, drive higher customer satisfaction and outperform those who are less engaged. If you manage and lead teams, there are certain No-Nos that you must keep in mind to ensure that you both give respect to and get respect from your people:
Must-Not #1: Manipulation – Don’t play games with your people. That’s the easiest way to lose trust. You have better chances of getting something done if you are transparent and up front about your motives. And if you prefer to keep your agenda hidden, you probably are pretty sure yourself that it is not the right thing to do.
Must-Not #2: Shouting – No matter how much stress you are under or the pressures on you from your management, there is no excuse for losing your temper with your people. Bad behavior and bullying are extremely harmful for the morale and definitely not the example you want to set.
Must-Not #3: No Appreciation – Remember to thank your team and thank them often. People will only give their best if they feel valued. There does not have to be an occasion or a big accomplishment. Little things done well are as important as big jobs. Observe your team closely and look for reasons to be grateful, you won’t have to search too much.
Must-Not #4: No Consideration – People have a life of their own apart from work. Respect the boundaries. Don’t demand their time and attention on weekends, vacations and late nights. You may be a workaholic but that does not mean your team has the same priorities in life. If you have been transparent with your team, they will most likely volunteer in times of need.
Must-Not #5: No Communication – Don’t just communicate with your people when you have to assign work or review status. Discuss plans, goals, problems and career development. Converse, engage and just be in touch with your teams. Communication is a two-way street. Listen actively.
The basic building block of good team building is for a leader to promote the feeling that every human being is unique and adds value.
What other behaviors do you think are best avoided at the work place? What irritates you and what has worked for you? I would love to hear back from you on your experiences.