Regardless of what the job might be, the working environment influences in the final product more than you can imagine.
As humans we are finite, everything about us is limited and sooner or later comes to an end. Our energy, our health, our creativity, our thinking ability, our capacity, are all areas that if we don’t take care of them will deteriorate, same if we don’t exercise them, they will lessen their quality with time.
Is it just me or is it raining in here?
This may sound funny, but people, same as plants, need enough water to remain alive and stay healthy. Rain is good, but on the other hand, floods and droughts cause plants to die.
Challenges, constructive criticism, healthy pressure, dealing with different personalities and discipline are part of what make people grow their skills and character.
As leaders, we need to make sure that our workers are not exposed to unhealthy levels of these, otherwise they will be overwhelmed and their capacity will be affected.
Hopefully you are not working only on maintaining people in the same place, but actually looking forward to help them flourish and be fruitful in what they do.
Now, when it comes to put this into practice, there are some factors that we need to consider in order to create a healthy work environment.
1. Communication is key
The easiest way to avoid and solve conflict is to communicate effectively. No one enjoys working in an environment filled with gossip, resentment, fear or rejection. Communication helps people to build healthy relationships with their co- workers and oversights. At the same time, it improves the overall performance of the workers.
Never assume that your staff knows what you already know. Communicating what the expectations, rules, and values of the business are will make it so much easier to build a culture of excellence and it will help people carry the vision of your organisation.
2. Celebrating wins
We are often good at pointing out what others do wrong. Mistakes are easy to highlight and acknowledge. The common thought is that if you celebrate someone’s win, they will tend to become arrogant and proud, but in reality, a good balance between challenge and celebration is what helps build people up.
Someone once said that you should check if you are being people’s platform or people’s roof. A platform is the ground others can use to go higher and a roof is the structure that stops you from going up.
Our words can easily become a roof , they can limit others and discourage them. At the same time, words can encourage, inspire and bring value to people if they recognise effort and hard work.
It is your choice to be a roof or a platform for others, but just think to yourself, do you prefer to be the only one up, or would you rather everyone to grow together?
3. Challenging weaknesses
Challenges are not comfortable. They make you realise how much you don’t know, how much you still have to learn and what you could improve at. They take you to your limit, until your capacity is stretched, creating a new limit.
It is very important that you provide opportunities for the people in your organisation to grow. Maybe this means releasing them to take on a new task, propose them to improve certain areas, or even meet with them and ask them what areas they think they could grow in.
Remember always to give criticism with the goal of improving. Criticism done with the goal of diminishing someone else will never take you anywhere.
There are many ways of giving positive feedback, but my favourite is “The encouragement sandwich”. Start by highlighting something you noticed the person is good at, then suggest improvement in a certain area, and then finish with another area you noticed growth in. Try it, and you will see how people feel valued and challenged at the same time.
4. Promoting Rest
Mental and physical rest are both foundations for a good performance. A healthy amount of working hours, organising events/ space for recreation and promoting family time are very important.
Your workers need to know that you care for them not only in words, but in action. At the end of the day, it is much better for your work to be enjoyed and not endured.
5. Working as a team
John Maxwell puts it like this: “Team work makes the dream work”.
Create the culture between your employees of support. Encourage them to work together and support each other to achieve great goals.
When you work as a team, the work load is less heavy, because everyone plays their part in making it happen. If you are working by yourself, you can easily be burdened and overwhelmed because you don’t have other people to input ideas or help find a solution when you encounter challenges.
Also, two are always better than one, because if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
Hopefully these tips are useful to you in some way.
Tell us, what else do you think could create a healthy growing environment?