Strategies for Creating a Winning Work Environment

1. Look for employees who can accept positive feedback and compliments. Individuals who accept positive feedback and are able to say “thank you” after receiving a compliment are more likely to perform when it counts. If employees cannot accept accolades, then ultimately they will do things to receive negative feedback. If you have employees who thrive on negativity or harsh behavior, they will let you down in the end. People who thrive on negativity will not perform when it counts, and they will make choices that create more problems. Teach your employees to accept accolades.

2. Communicate with employees as individuals – Get to know your employees. Everyone’s brain does not process information in the same manner. Do not assume that you are being totally understood all of the time. Get to know each of your employees and what makes them “tick”. By taking the time to know them and what really motivates them, you will be able to communicate with them in a more productive and positive manner.

3. Have individual meetings – Meetings that provide an opportunity for give-and-take with a manager are a good idea. Let your staff know what you like about their performance and behavior and what you think they can do better.
Allow them to make suggestions or express their ideas about how things can be better in the work place. Communication is a two-way street. If all they hear is the manager’s dialogue and are not given an opportunity to respond and have input, the manager runs the risk that her staff will tune out and shut down.

4. Have an open door policy – Letting your staff know that you are there for them when they have a problem is essential to your company’s success. If they feel they can talk to you, you will create an environment that fosters two-way communication and builds trust and respect. Encourage your staff to come and speak with you.

Make it a priority to manage your employees in an empowering way. Employees perform best in an environment that is supportive, consistent, has good two way communication, and where everyone helps each other. Take the time to create a safe communicating environment so that employees can do their jobs 100% of the time.

Anne Smith, Ph.D. Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved.