As a small business, your company culture separates you from your competitors and better positions you for continued success. When you have a winning workplace environment, the staff look forward to coming to work, giving their all and helping your business grow. Creating this type of environment starts with you, the owner and leader of the business. Providing a workplace where employees feel as if they’re part of an extended family enhances employee morale and improves overall productivity. Use the following tips to ensure your workplace is a winning environment for your business team.
Your employees should feel that you are someone they can talk to about work-related issues and personal influences that may affect their work performance. While there’s a fine line between being friendly and getting too personal, when employees learn they can trust you, your company culture will benefit. Let your employees know they can talk to you and that their viewpoints are considered and respected — not dismissed or downplayed. Your staff should know that you’re open to their ideas and shouldn’t get the impression that you feel you have all the answers.
Telling your employees you’re approachable when you’re never around, doesn’t cultivate a family feeling among workers and may also create an unproductive workplace environment. Ensure your open door policy includes making the rounds and starting conversations with your staff. Also provide your employees with your contact information if you’re working remotely or traveling. This allows them to feel connected to you and shows your genuine interest and concern.
Listen With Positive Intent
Listening well may be one of the most challenging aspects of leading a small business. While it’s easy to label some employees as complainers, a small attitude adjustment on your part can turn those individuals into your strongest allies in cultivating a healthy company culture.
When an employee approaches you with an issue, don’t view it as a complaint. Instead, consider it an opportunity to improve your business. These opportunities will disappear if employees believe you ignore their suggestions, and your work environment will suffer. Simply listening to a staff member’s suggestion, even if you can’t implement it, can be a positive interaction if you explain why it isn’t feasible. This shows that you value their input and respect them enough to consider their recommendations.
Show You Care
To foster a family atmosphere, show your employees you care about them and appreciate their personal hardships and successes. People feel encouraged to bring value to a business when they feel valued as individuals. Your genuine concern for employees should shine through, and when it does, it encourages them to contribute to your shared success. Genuine concern is infectious; as yours permeates the workplace environment, it will spread to your customers and may even have a positive impact on your bottom line.
While the value of showing you care for your employees may not be immediately apparent, a positive workplace culture fosters mutual respect. It also fosters loyalty within your team, who will start to feel like they’re part of an organization that cares about each team member as much as it cares about serving the customer and growing the business. Your employees will also appreciate that sometimes, as the business leader, you must make difficult decisions to keep a small business running. When times get tough, a winning workplace environment, where staff want to work together to keep the business afloat, can make the difference between success or closing up shop.
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