“The most valuable asset of a 21st century institution, whether business or non-business, will be its knowledge workers and their productivity.”
-Peter Drucker, Austrian author
How common is it for a person to have a disciplinary for arriving at the office 5 minutes late even though they often stay late after work? And, they typically won’t be acknowledged for staying on.
According to research, 20% of people die from heart attacks on Monday morning. You wonder what type of organizations these poor people are working for.
Archaic, draconian, and authoritarian management work cultures seem to be the norm, but they produce poor performance and outcomes.
Doing things a certain way because it’s tradition is a counter-productive and horrible way to run a business.
For a business to thrive you need to create an environment that is conducive to employees satisfying the ultimate of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – ‘self-actualization.’
But it needs proper conditions.
If you can, avoid any strong emotional reactions. The criticism may not be so important. So keep it in perspective.
Start From a Place of Trust
For a team to thrive, employees need a degree of autonomy.
You need to trust that your staff has its responsibilities and deadlines under control. Assume they are there for the right reasons and that they want to work.
Give them space. Physical and otherwise. Flexibility. As long as work is getting done on time and to high quality, why is there a need to track hours? It’s degrading.
Assume that employees are ambitious and are self-motivated. They have self-discipline and enjoy doing physical and mental duties.
The outcomes, performance, and culture of a company are directly affected by a company’s management style. Unfortunately, poor leaders are found in most businesses.
Micromanagers, Bullies, and Weak Leaders
If you micromanage or hire people who micromanage, you’re sabotaging the productivity of your team. People work best without someone breathing down their neck.
Sadly, there is a strong tendency for psychopathic personalities to rise to top managerial positions.
Bullies rule by fear, and they cover their tracks. Leaders like these tend to attract other psychopathic personalities as they can endure the stress caused by a bully boss.
This means you’re missing out on a lot of creative talent and you’ll have high staff turnover.
Having malignant personalities in your leadership team will create chaos and stress in your employees.
Foster a culture of sharing and openness, you’ll be rewarded with loyalty and respect in return. You need to bat for your team, they need to trust that you have their back.
Motivate your team, not manage your team. Provide training and mentorship. Let your team see you as a comrade, a cheerleader, and a coach. Not a sergeant major dangling a sword of Damocles.
To bring out the best in your team, bring out the best in yourself. Foster a work culture that gives people flexibility, autonomy, and creativity.
Your team’s performance will thrive if you meet these conditions.
Teams need a steward, someone who will guide them, and insulation from the harsh realities of the organization and industry.
Be a leader that managers other leaders, not a manager. Hire people who are unique and creative and want to do things on their terms.
Motivating Team Culture
The reality is that your staff are already motivated. All too often, a person starts a new job full of vigor and a desire to succeed. But, a combination of poor management style and a toxic work culture eventually erodes their drive.
The only way to motivate people is to unleash that motivation by creating an environment that is conducive to excellent work.
People want to work in an environment that doesn’t feel like a workplace and a community. A place where they can be with their friends and bring their real personalities to work.
When all these environmental conditions are met, we are more productive and creative. Create meaning and fulfilment, and a balanced work-life blend.
Build Authentic Relationships With Staff
Apart from the most basic needs of food and shelter, people need to be valued.
75% of people leave a job because of their boss rather than the company. The most important factor in employee engagement is the relationship between boss and employee.
When an employee invests time to get to know the person inside an employee, that employee will stay longer and try harder. There are so many businesses with aloof bosses that the prospect of moving is daunting.
Creating a rapport with your boss includes learning who an employee is behind their work. Ask about their kids, weekends, and vacations. Find common ground, topics you can bond over. And, do it often.
Remember the details from the conversations you have with your staff and refer back later. Follow up and keep the small talk going whenever it’s possible.
You may be run off your feet, so don’t just pay lip service. Be genuinely interested.
You’ll see positive results in the company’s productivity.
You can attract talent by providing your staff with ways to make their life more enjoyable at work.
If your business model doesn’t allow for huge salaries, you can attract people with benefits such as:
• Free lunches
• An option to buy more holidays
• Sabbatical holiday allowance after so many years of service
• Healthcare and pension
• Free in-house haircuts and massages
Life-enhancing benefits such as these can encourage a person to stay at a company. Things like in-house massages and haircuts also save time on people taking time out of the office.
Fostering your team’s performance starts from a desire to make people feel valued and able to achieve a work-life balance.
It can be little things that don’t cost money, just your time and genuine interest in the lives of your staff.
Ensuring their needs are met with additional benefits go a long way. By showing that you truly care about their ambitions, happiness, and wellbeing you will be rewarded with loyalty and respect.
This is the key to achieving an outstanding team performance in your company.