When an influential mentor speaks to you, chances are you’re going to remember what they say. For me, it was a lecture early on in college where one of my Professors attempted to demonstrate the importance of social sciences in relation to real world business practices. The gist of what he said was, “Business is all about working with people. The more you understand what people want and how they operate, the more successful you’re going to be across any career path.”
Essentially signifying the role and value our emotional quotient fulfills in an environment where humans attempt to cooperate with one another on mutual tasks. Quite frequently, though, we’re begrudged by disrespectful and demanding supervisors who have skills in every aspect to a managerial position, except interpersonal relations.
Whether you’re struggling to develop a better relationship with your employees, or are simply lacking directional leadership skills, here are three ways you can improve the general happiness within your company.
Show Your Appreciation Appropriately
There are many ways to motivate employees, but nothing can can quite replace the empowerment of expressing gratitude towards their efforts. By taking the time to examine what we appreciate from our team, we’re also encouraging others to do the same.
The appropriateness comes into play in measures of frequency and the selective times in which we choose to show our appreciation. Not every routine action is in need of being remarked upon; rather, when an employee or co-worker seems to extend themselves beyond expectations be sure to reward their efforts by complimenting their work ethic.
Successful managers may even take extra steps every week, or month to send individual e-mails pointing out times when the employee made an invaluable contribution. No one wants to feel like their work is going unnoticed. Giving someone a feeling of purpose is an excellent tool for building the strength of your business.
Don’t Stifle Creativity
Officially classified as the ‘Technological Era’, our current trends of employment rely heavily on both sides of the brain. For the longest time we were seeing left-brained analytical work forces that didn’t allow for individuals to express their creativity within a company. Many careers during the informational era (Engineers, Doctors, Computer Programmers) were task oriented and routine, not allowing for an individuals personality to really impact their day to day.
But the world has changed.
While many, if not all careers, are still maximizing the linear and analytical portion of our brain (Left-half), we’re seeing a tremendous shift towards those who utilize the ‘big picture’ modules to steer business towards a more sustainable future. Automation has allowed for many careers to focus on the artistry and emotion of what makes our products/services human; therefore, right-brained individuals are thriving thanks to the opportunities presented in creative industries.
Not everyone lands a position in a creative sector, however, and try as we might our ideas are often stifled due to the lack of open-mindedness in a given company’s upper management. Best recommendation: listen to what your employees have to suggest.
Just like it’s become common place to have customer surveys, understanding and adapting to your employee’s needs will allow for your company to retain employees longer, while also providing a channel for their ideas to blossom.
Drop The Intimidation and Focus On Happiness
I think we’ve finally realized that ruling by fear is not the most effective approach to increasing productivity from our employees. In today’s economic climate there is already enough uncertainty pertaining to the security of our jobs. This has led to notable increases in documented health issues directly correlated to stress from our jobs.
Many reports have begun to emphasis the importance of ‘positive psychology’ in the workplace, disregarding prior methods of holding low job availability over employees heads as a means to generate pressure and fear. Positive psychology is all about the happiness of employees which has been shown to increase productivity, stimulate creativity, and create a better overall environment in which better candidates will apply to work for.
Some great ways to reduce stress and increase happiness, include:
- Providing access to physical fitness – For some companies this means helping purchase gym memberships as a part of the benefits package.
- Incorporate mentoring programs for new employees – Feeling like your company has invested in your position is a great way to feel secure and learn how to start working at a higher level
- Engage a happiness trainer – While this can be expensive, the results could last much longer than employees constantly leaving in search of a better position.
Creating a better working environment doesn’t require a complete overhaul of resources. Often it’s the small gestures, and genuine demeanor we exchange with those we’re closest with at the office that will spread throughout the entire company. By starting to prioritize your company’s positive reputation today, you’ll have an even better team in the days of tomorrow.
Jeremy Jensen is a Professional Photographer and Freelance Writer based in Lake Tahoe, CA. His work is centered around photojournalism, nature and music, but also loves any opportunity to work with people. To view his portfolio or to follow him on Social Media visit JeremyJensenMedia.com