Have you ever wondered what exactly underpins the quintessential ‘bad day at the office’? When morale slides down into the abyss of missed deadlines, shoddy work, and workplace disagreements, it’s time to act. However, it comes as a surprise to many leaders to learn that the best ways to act are also some of the simplest to change. Don’t believe us? Read on. Here are three ways to help build a productive atmosphere in the workplace.
1) Apply The Principles Of Good Customer Service
Negative stress can make people behave in very uncharacteristic ways. That’s why there are multiple Pinterest lists and hundreds of articles laughing at the public shame of epic customer service fails.
But what’s really going on here? Normally the reason is an employee has thrown the rules of etiquette out of the window and spoken their mind to an internal customer (their colleagues). This is often due to a build-up of tiredness, frustration, and – yes, frequently – the customer, their colleague actually being in the wrong (gasp).
However, the responsive explosions that follow can be overly dramatic… as there are clear rules of engagement that underpin organisational interactions. Certain levels of politeness and dignity are expected in business. When these boundaries are overstepped, the result can be an intense feeling and outpouring of being wronged and conventional behavioural norms are broken.
2) Build Relationships
Relationship Avenue is a bumpy road. Like all relationships, organisational dynamics can be intricate and unpredictable. A team with synergy can create powerful results. A team rumbling on an undercurrent of muttered discontents is going nowhere.
Team-building activities are one of the best ways that leaders can look after their teams. Evidence shows that teams want to feel like they are being listened to, encouraged, and – as in good customer service – placed at the centre of the organisation.
Building self-awareness and team-building has many direct benefits, it gives groups an opportunity to get to know each other, understand different ways of thinking, whilst also building the crucial communication pathways that can accelerate problem resolution. All successful relationships take time, effort, and care. These investments offer valuable returns.
3) Look After Yourself The Leader
There are several mantras that most of us are brought up with that explain questionable behaviour.
‘It’s not the dog, it’s the owner.’
‘Blame the parenting…’
‘The apple never falls far from the tree!’
These ‘words of wisdom’ are hopelessly over-generalised, and are only ever part of the story. However, behavioural psychology shows there is a kernel of truth within many of these clichés.
Subconscious communication, such as body language, has powerful repercussions. So too can the fact that leaders automatically set an example (good or bad), even when they don’t intend to do so. Everybody gives off signals. In the case of a leader, these signals are amplified at an organisational level. If colleagues are under performing, it maybe they are sensing that their leader is not the stabilising force that that they need.
Employees can feel like the leader is not acting in their best interests, has a double agenda, or that trouble is looming. Recognising this can be daunting. However, awareness is the first step towards positive change, and great leaders care enough about their organisation to accept this. Lessons can be learned from honest feedback and lead to transformational results.
Working At Leadership
Leadership is a vocation that demands hard work and training. Leadership skills have the power to unlock the full potential of a workforce. If discontent is brewing, it’s time to take action. Build positive rapport, nurture productive teams, and take a look at how leadership styles may be influencing the climate of the organisation.
To explore this in more detail, get in touch. We offer tailored solutions that are both transformational and sustainable. Learn to value the ‘internal customer’, and you might be surprised what is unlocked.