Work Environment and Culture

Do you think it is an important subject or just filling space?  What does your staff think?  Will they answer openly?  Will you listen?  Did you think about this when you started or took over?  If not, why not?  The short and long of it is that it all starts with you!

Many times the thought is, well they are getting paid and that should be good enough.  It may be for some and in some situations.  However, if you are building a business, it helps to have people around you who enjoy the work.  Productivity is higher and drama and absenteeism  are reduced.  Customer can sense it as well. It is not just about pay (it is one aspect).  Leadership, communication and equipping people all are factors in the dynamics of the workplace.  Let us not forget the actual people as well.

Each individual should know that they have value to the organization and it should be communicated in a direct manner.  This process begins at the initial interview stage.  What do you expect of them?  Tell them. What do they expect of the organization or you?  Are they realistic?  Do they show character?  Are they genuine?  How do they communicate? From the receptionist to the highest level under you, they represent your business and are a reflection of your values.  Often managers will rush over the interview process to fill a position to rush to get work done.  Each employee is an asset and your invest time and energy into them. Value them!  Engage your staff, challenge them, laugh with them, get to know them!  Simple principals! Right….  But too often many other things get in the way.

Successful organizations have environments that breed growth, encourage innovation and reward performance.  This culture starts at the top.  Visible leadership, open communication, fair evaluations, defined roles and clear accountability are all necessary aspects to any good work environment.  So what is the difference between the environment and the culture.  The environment is what it actually is while the culture is what it being professed.  When they are reflections of each other, it is clearly evident.  So is it good or bad or apathetic or energetic? Enthusiasm, excitement, upbeat positive problem solving all are contagious.  The true test of great leaders (or managers) is measured by the people in their inner circle (direct reports) and are they being properly trained to replace them. We could write a book (many have) on what it takes to succeed or fail.  There are many principles involved but funny, it is not really that complicated.  Stay the course with character, compassion and credibility and you will find that culture and the environment will
mirror those principles.

So what is in your heart?

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