Entrepreneurs know that time is money. When the success of your business is inextricably linked to your reputation, your personal finances and, let’s face it, your mental health, it can be extremely difficult to keep your eyes off the bottom line and take a more holistic look at your business. Your relationship with your employees is integral to the success of your business. Although it’s important to ensure that your employees are happy and motivated to ensure that they are productive, your employees are also a major component in your quality of life. With all the stresses and strains that entrepreneurs confront on a daily basis, a harmonious working environment is extremely important for all concerned.
When it comes down to it, team building exercises, training seminars and weekly team meetings are all well and good, but they account for little unless you remove these small (yet surprisingly impactful) impediments to workplace productivity…
Forgetting your manners
As the figurehead of your business, it’s easy to underestimate just how important your example is to those around you. Consciously or unconsciously, your employees will start to model themselves upon yours. If you come in a few minutes late, they’ll start to believe that tardiness is now the norm. If you come to work in jeans and a t shirt, don’t be surprised if your employees follow suit, and if you forget your manners, don’t be surprised if your employees become less polite to one another. As busy, overworked and stressed as you may be, never underestimate the importance of saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, or congratulating your team on a job well done.
Neglecting your premises
Whether you’re a retail outlet or an office-based operation, the physical state of the workplace has a surprisingly impactful effect on workplace relations. Aside from the more obvious health and safety considerations, messy workplaces allow more opportunities for equipment and documents to get lost and reduce employe motivation. These factors can conspire to compromise the harmony of your workplace. Therefore, investing in regular visits from a window cleaning company and office cleaners goes a great deal to maintaining a happy and productive workplace.
Turning a blind eye to gossip
Gossip is like a weed that can infest even the happiest of workplaces and tear it apart from within. As long as you have a workforce there are bound to be interpersonal relationships that are both positive and negative (as well as everything in between) but when employees begin to gossip about one another, it can be cancerous for workplace relations. As tempting as it may be to turn a blind eye (or ear) to this seemingly innocuous facet of office life so, underestimate its ability to destroy your team at your peril. Nip it in the bud with a frank team meeting. Likewise if members of your team have grievances with one another, ensure that there is an appropriate system in place to deal with them.
Locking yourself in your ivory tower
As important as it is to eliminate the prospect of division between employees, you should also discourage division between you and your employees. Busy entrepreneurs may want to closet themselves away from distractions but ensure that you have a consistent open door policy. Nobody wants to be the big boss looming over everyone from their ivory tower.