Your Business DNA.
I am a true believer that any business no matter what it’s organisationsl structure has a DNA influence, one that sets a tone for the environment of the workplace for its employees. Irrelevant of if a small business, Plc companies, multimillion pound conglomerate, retail, service sector, call centre. Every environment will have a feel to it. My question is very simple, how important is it to your as a leader of a business and your senior management. Do you personally welcome someone to the business on their very first day and talk about the way you want them to feel in the workplace, that you set out what’s important for everyone and why everyone have the right to come to work and enjoy their job.
Sounds a big ask, but this is something I have believed in all my working life, so much so, that on the very first day of an employees journey I talk at least 45 minutes with them personally. Believe me it truly sets a tone and expectation, most of all trust, respect and communication has started on a great footing. I take about that right to enjoy their job, as an example I also state I also want to come to work and enjoy my job as one of the team.
I also talk about training and advice available to them, this process starts the wellbeing journey for me. Knowing that I have already connected as a leader is hugely important. Life is changing and leadership must change with it, I call it flexible leadership in s very diverse society. Meaning our approach’s must be diverse also.
Wellness in the Workplace
Just like the ever-changing seasons, organisations must constantly adapt to their environment, whether it be strategic objectives, human resources or organisational climate. Because an organisation is only as effective as its employees, it is necessary to take care of them.
Mental health is an important element of employee well-being and effectiveness. When employees feel that their voices are no longer heard, that their skills are not valued and that leadership does not align with their personal values, the effects can be disastrous on work climate.
Leadership, therefore, has a direct impact on workplace climate, health and well-being. Leaders must be humble and open. They must also consider the importance of future generations. Students and future employees are much more exposed and aware of all aspects of mental health. Because it is a subject that is much less taboo for them, they will expect an organizational culture that takes it into account.
It’s Never Too Late to Do Some Good
I still hear executives expressing that they are not there to be liked by their employees or to contribute to their personal fulfillment. Hearing that saddens me every time. Leaders need to understand that they can really make a difference in the lives of employees.
Here are some ways that leaders can make improvements:
- Recognise the humanity of each individual and his or her skills
- Know and perfect your own emotional intelligence
- Do not let your fear of seeming incompetent take over
- Align shared employee values with the company’s mandate
- Be present with employees, greet them, engage them in discussion and include them with authenticity
- Organise short quarterly meetings with all your employees
- Organise an annual event that bring them together
- Openly talk about mental health & wellbeing, talk about it, share information on notice boards and in meetings.
- Reduce sending emails, never send any outside working hours unless urgent and important.
- Talk about the stuff that motivates you as a leader, so they truly see the human side of you.
- be an inspiration, not by the usual stuff, be seen to volunteer / raise money as a team for a cause and get there positive supportive- ask your team to choose a charity of the year to support.
The gap in performance and well-being between a team focused on control-and-task and a team focused on innovation-and-empowerment is enormous. Research shows that the ROI in a healthy workplace can be up to sixfold. Simply put have a very clear and defined communication plan that your whole leadership buy into. The buy product will be a workplace that everyone wants to stay in, meaning better productivity and retention.
Let Your Team Know- You Do Listen!
Favor self-determination by your team because they are best positioned to know that something is not working optimally in the organisation or within the management team, for example. Discuss your observations, fears and objectives for yourself as a leader, for your team and for your organisation. Ask their opinions for solutions, trust me they do have them
An analysis of your cultural values will provide an excellent starting point for identifying the issues and initiating a dialogue with you and your team, especially with feedback forums- in the art of team meetings not social media!
Recognise Your Business DNA
We have talked about discussing the DNA of your buisness, but what does it truly represent to you and your team? I challenge you to ask your team? Gain their thoughts on what are the great aspects of working in the business. Then agree they will be the principles that will shared with all new recruits, in job interviews and even with your customers. It will change your business positively forever, your team will feel supported and become the ambassadors of the business whilst ensuring the wellbeing of each other is maintained.
As a leader we will still have the challenging days, difficult scenarios. However with a positive approach to celebrating successes, your business DNA and most importantly a good communication plan with your team, you will master those hard times even better as a collect and not just as an individual.
Go and have a great day with your team.
Business Leader and Founder of The Links Foundation