Picture it – It’s Monday morning. Employees are trickling into the office one-by-one. Most look as if they fell out of bed and threw on the first thing they found on the floor. Occasionally, you find that well-dressed, excited and bright-eyed employee who is ready to take on the week. What if you could make carbon copies of this individual? Would you? What if you could mimic that same positive attitude and infect others with this behavior that seems so hard to come by?
Multiple factors contribute to the health of a workplace environment. Do managers interact with employees? Do employees feel valued? Has the bottom line taken over and culture become obsolete? Is stress leading to overwhelming negativity? When an employee makes a mistake, what are the consequence? Do they fit the situation or is there a tendency for management to overreact? All of these pieces help to shape the work environment.
Fact - The American Psychological Association estimates that more than $500 billion is funneled yearly from the U.S. economy due to workplace stress. Additionally, another 550 million workdays are lost each year to stress on the job. The idea behind behavior modification is to start sooner than later. Identify ways to transition your team through the adjustment period and improve the environment before you lose valuable employees and revenue. In 2014, The American Management Association reported that 35% of Senior Leaders believe loyalty has a direct correlation to profits. So, what can you do to change the course of your corroding work setting?
1. Get Your Employees Engaged
An employee who is active, takes a on a progressive role within the organization and is enthusiastic, can be the driver of new sales growth and a leader of change. Show them appreciation by rewarding them and creating new opportunities within the company. Additionally, involve your employees when the planning affects them and change is impending. Allow them to take an active role by organizing initiatives, soliciting ideas and implementing new concepts.
2. Create Accountability
Creating accountability between coworkers can provide friendly competition, drive sales, in addition to performance and recruitment. Taking responsibility for actions, both good and bad creates a healthier workplace. It’s ok to make a mistake, if you manage the problem and create goals for the future. According to Mental Health America, two-thirds of workers believe their job is having a significant impact on their mental and behavioral health. By creating accountability, you can take the pressure off and offer an environment that accepts that mistakes are normal and part of the learning process.
3. Be the Example
An accessible manager is a successful manager! Often employees feel that their superiors don’t hear them. Be available. Be responsive. Be an example of change. Set the tone for positivity and accountability. Keep an open door policy. Be transparent about upcoming changes. Communicate effectively and consistently with your team. Be inspiring and get inspired!
4. Establish Organizational Expectations
Your company is the attitude your employees project. Remember, every day they are on the front lines and their behavior has a direct effect on how others see your organization. From the moment an employee is hired, they should understand the organization and how it expects to be represented. These behaviors should be reinforced with ongoing training and consistent with the company’s core values.
5. Inspire and Reward
Inspiring others to model your positive behavior can itself be rewarding. However, taking that next step to reward employees for consistent behavior both reinforces the action and gives the employee a sense of worth and acknowledgement. A Bersin & Associates study found that companies with a recognition program that is highly effective at improving employee engagement, had a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate. Leverage your reward and recognition programs. Recognize your employees for a job well done.
Behavior change is complex. People are complex. Workplaces are made up of various personalities and not everyone is going to mesh. As managers, it’s your job to create an environment that offers stability, inspiration, accountability and positive energy. Make your company successful by welcoming input from each contributing member and expecting constructive, consistent output.