1. Start With Gratitude
Working together is something that I strongly believe is a privilege and not a right. At our agency, we start every week by having an all-hands team meeting for 15 minutes where team kudos is the very first item on our agenda. Giving people a means to express appreciation for each other in public raises the whole group’s morale, gets a positive tone established for the week, and makes people feel valued and acknowledged. When you start with gratitude in any type of professional situation it makes appreciation a priority, and that intention will permeate throughout the entire organization.
2. Get a safe environment created
Toxicity within a professional environment is very damaging. It inhibits collaboration and stifles new ideas. Getting a safe work environment creates involves eliminating negative people and respecting all ideas – whether it is coming from a senior team member or an intern. To help employees feel safe, lead with vulnerability, integrity, and honesty.
3. Don’t leave your dirty dishes piled up in the sink.
What this metaphor basically means is “don’t leave messes behind for somebody else to clean up.” It is incredibly frustrating to take on a project that someone else has left and then discover that there are missing files, that the work is a complete mess, or a critical document was saved by someone’s desktop computer right before they took off on a two-week vacation. The functional interpretation is to not leave a mess, but “respect everyone’s time” is the emotional definition. If someone needs to duplicate your efforts or have to take time off from their regular responsibility to search for a missing document, then basically you are saying you don’t respect their time. Our most valuable currency time. When we don’t respect our colleagues’ time, that contributes to creating a negative workplace environment instead of a positive one.
4. In business, there are just opportunities and not problems.
When stress levels are skyrocketing and emotions are running high, even the most minor workplace issue may appear to be a huge boulder. What I tell my team is we are not experiencing a problem, but an opportunity to evaluate, analyze, reflect so that the next time around – and there is always a net time – we will be able to do better. I also try to find humor or irony in any situation no matter what it is. Bringing perspective to a situation and getting your team to smile can help to lighten an emotionally charged room very quickly.
5. Consistency is key.
Company culture has so many new trends: bringing your pets to work, unlimited paid time off, open workspaces, team building, flex hours, and the list goes on and on. It can be very tempting to try to replicate all of the perks that are being offered by the competition. However, the same tactics will not work the same for all companies. My team, above all, has discovered that the key for us is consistency, instead of being distracted by the most recent professional cultural fad. Although it is possible for change to be a very healthy thing, disrupting something that is good can be very detrimental and have a negative impact on your organization’s cultural balance.
6. Encourage positive thinking.
Don’t waste your time on negative behaviors that are not in alignment with the moral compass of your business. Life is short after all. I encourage my team proactively to think positively – at all times. Even when things appear to be spiraling out of control or we are not able to accomplish the result we are anticipating. Eventually, positive thinking will result in positive outcomes. As a group, setting yearly, monthly, and weekly positive intention will help your team stay aligned and ensure everyone is moving in the same direction.
7. Don’t sacrifice important things for urgent ones.
It is very easy to put off team one-on-one when you have an urgent meeting or client call. However, it is critical to have those connections with your team to maintain a positive workplace culture. If a staff memeber needs help for whatever reason you should be avaiable. If your staff require help with stress or anxiety contact the Clarity Clinic Chicago. You are the leader and cheerleader for the company as well as the glue binding the organization together. If you do not have connections on a regular basis with your people, then your organization’s energy, vision, and mission can get quickly diluted and your cultural fiber degraded. It is fine to reschedule; just don’t allow important conversations to be constantly replaced by urgent deadlines and demands.