By BEN HARGROVE
A good work environment can foster teamwork and increase productivity. A poor work environment can sow dissatisfaction, get in the way of the work and give employees you want to retain a reason to think about going elsewhere. Here are some tips from our executive coach experts about creating and maintaining a positive work environment:
Spell out specifically who does what
Some employees will get more done than others. They are more likely to be happy to do more than their share and help out those employees who may be lagging behind if their efforts are acknowledged and appreciated. But making no distinction between different levels of effort can encourage those who work harder to wonder why they should bother doing so.
Executive coach professionals say clearly spelling out roles and responsibilities beforehand enables you to demonstrate that you are treating everyone fairly and not just assuming that the harder workers will do more.
Clearly defining roles and duties can also head off turf struggle if more than one staffer wants to be in charge of a particular task. Conversely, it can also ensure that if there is a task that nobody wants, someone will be responsible for it.
Don’t be a micromanager
Once you have laid out roles and responsibilities, take a step back. Give your employees a chance to fulfill their duties without constantly checking up on them. Empower your employees by trusting them to get their work done properly and efficiently. Some form of checking up on them may be warranted, but don’t overdo progress reports and staff meetings to the point where they get in the way of the actual work.
Keep the lines of communication open
Sometimes problems arise in the workplace that you may not know about. There may be a lack of resources. Maybe there is a personality conflict between two coworkers. If your employees know that they can feel free to come to you with their concerns, you might be able to deal with issues while they are smaller and more manageable instead of having them fester and start to affect productivity.
Let your employees know you appreciate them
If the work is going well, praise is always welcomed and certainly contributes to a good work environment. Lack of praise is less conducive to a good work environment. Even if extra effort is expected, executive coach experts say that you should not take people for granted. Small gestures of appreciation, such as letting people come in late or leave early after working late the day before, can pay dividends.