When it comes to getting the most out of your employees, one of the best things you can do is to help to create a positive work environment for your entire team. An employee’s motivation to work hard is greatly influenced by his or her work environment. In other words, when employees - or people in general - feel encouraged, accepted, and appreciated, they tend to become more motivated to work harder and perform better. It is important to remember that you, as a manager, are responsible not only for producing desired project outcomes, but for nurturing, motivating, and inspiring your team members as well.
Here are five tips to creating a strong team atmosphere within your workplace:
1. Communicate clearly and engage in meaningful dialogue. Good communication is key to a positive working relationship between you and your employees. Both parties need to be able to understand what is expected of each other, and there should be an equal amount of communication from both you and your employees alike. The key to good, effective communication is to be clear and direct, and to address any issues head-on as soon as they arise. In addition, be sure to communicate with your employees in-person as much as possible, as this is much more meaningful than through email, text message, or even phone calls. Engaging in face-to-face dialogue establishes a sense of caring which typically inspires motivation within your employees.
2. Listen to everybody’s ideas. Each one of your employees is employed by you for a reason, so each one of your employees’ opinions should matter just as much as the next one’s. Encourage your employees to voice their ideas and opinions in order to show them that they all matter equally. You can do this by holding weekly team meetings, inviting them into your office individually, or just asking for their input directly. Each of your employees has their own unique experiences and perspectives and are most likely able to bring more to the table because of this.
3. Trust your employees. Although it is important to check in on your employees periodically, you certainly do not want to be overbearing about it. Try hard not to micromanage to make sure everything is going exactly the way you want it, as this will only create a negative environment for everyone within the workplace. Instead, take a step back and let your employees do their jobs. They are all adults and you hired them all for a reason, so they are most likely responsible and competent adults. Therefore, you must trust that they will do their jobs well.
4. Recognize hard work and show appreciation when deserved. One of the most common complaints from employees is that they don’t feel appreciated at work. As humans, we feel a sense of accomplishment, pride, and purpose whenever we receive a compliment or some praise. Recognizing and showing appreciation towards those employees who deserve it will encourage them to keep up the great work. At the same time, it will also encourage other employees to strive for the same acknowledgment and appreciation.
5. Don’t be afraid to have some fun. Maintaining a professional environment and relationship with your employees is important, but it is also important to let yourself and your employees have a little bit of fun. There are many ways you can be both fun and professional with your work team. For example, allow your employees to decorate their work spaces, encourage them to take breaks throughout the day, provide them with team-bonding and team-building opportunities, and the like. When employees are able to have fun and enjoy themselves at work, the entire team will most likely feel better-connected.