There are hundreds of studies that measure an employee’s happiness and their work output. And anyone who's ever been in a hostile work environment knows, the happier an employee the better the work. Here are 5 steps that can help get your team on board and get you to this “happy place” known as production success!
1. Y is for Yes.
Douglas’ McCregor’s Motivation Theory was published in the 1960’s to describe the two very different management styles seen in the workforce. In short terms, Theory X assumes employees are lazy and will avoid work because they inherently do not like work, which leads to management closely supervising and their being a narrow span of control at each level. There is lots of threats, corrections and and blame. Theory Y assumes employees may be self-motivated with self control and therefore posses the ability to do well at work if given the opportunity to excel. Managers therefore allow for trust to be formed and subordinates to have a say in the decision process encouraging them to develop and use their talents. Theory Y will lead to employees feeling responsible for their work and therefore produce it faster and cleaner. Simply put- Say Yes to Theory Y.
2. Rewards Rewards Rewards
Here at LevelTen we created something called The Spot Box. The idea came from our guys talking to another organization who used this exercise and we immediately got the ball rolling. It is a box full of thank you and blank cards with $5 to $10 gift cards. The thought is when someone does something to help out, goes above and beyond or is successful in their job that they are rewarded by the team or an individual. Recognition and praise can be a key factor for employees being positive and wanting to continue to do good works. Everyone loves to know they are being seen, heard and needed.
3. Control your Hygiene
No, I am not talking about your “smell” here but rather your level of hygiene factors within your company’s walls. Frederick Herzberg studied employees attitudes and motivation back in 1959 and came up with his motivation-hygiene theory which explains his findings that there are satisfiers (motivators) and dissatisfiers (hygiene factors) in every company. The goal is to make sure the “hygiene” factors are kept clean not leading to dissatisfaction and your motivators are present. A few “hygiene” issues can come from company policy, supervision, relationship with boss, work conditions, salary and relationship with peers. Good motivators are achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibility, advancement and growth. They are not opposites of each other but rather key elements that persuade employees when present or not present. An example is the work conditions, if they are good it wont necessarily lead to motivation but if they are bad the presence of dissatisfaction will be a given. Take a look at these areas or poll your employees, and get rid of that smell! Motivation is KEY!
4. Share a Vision
A team that has a shared vision will go a long way. Ernest Bormann’s Symbolic Convergence Theory states that the sharing of group imagery creates symbolic convergence. This explained further means that small groups are more likely to have a higher level of consciousness and solidarity when talking to each other if there is dramatic imagery between the members. This can be used in meetings as well as for the company as a whole. A wise man I know once told me as a leader you need to let your followers know you are on this journey with them. So share your vision with your team and share it with imagery, from the overall vision to each meeting’s vision, leading you to more a solid and close team.
5. Know Yourself and Your Team
It all starts with you, the leader. You need to know yourself, how you communicate and what your style is. You need to keep a positive view of yourself so that you project that onto others. You need to fully understand your ways so that when communicating with others that is one less variable to be taken into consideration. The next step is to know your team and how they work, how they feel approached best, their style and what makes them tick. An idea is to have everyone take personality tests or work style/strength tests and share those results in a meeting. This will lead to more efficiency as well as a positive environment for each person will feel heard and be best approached therefore staying engaged in the work and ready to push forward.
These are just a few of the many theories that our out there to help avoid having a hostile work environment; creating a welcoming workplace leads to greater work output, and there is definitely a correlation there. People naturally want to enjoy what they do, especially if they are doing it for 91,520 hours in their lifetime. So I dare you to try it. Taking these 5 small steps may just be the answer your company was looking for!