Creating a culture of passion in the workplace

Ben Thompson
February 24, 2011

Sometimes, asking people to keep the spring in their step and to come to work full of energy and ideas seems like a tall order. However, there are practical things employers can do to keep their team engaged.

Plan for success from top to bottom

Work well with your colleagues if you want your team members to work well together. Develop a success plan with each team member or team in the company. Hold weekly, monthly or quarterly meetings to discuss plans and goals, and praise great work that is working towards achieving those goals. Provide a focus point and demonstrate progress towards it.

Train your team members and keep them up to date with industry trends

Team members need to be equipped to handle their responsibilities competently. The right team member training, education and development results in greater contribution to the business, willingness to learn and develops productivity and loyalty. Encourage and support extracurricular studies and learning. If budgets are tight, develop internal learning programs that draw on the expertise of your own team. When people are learning, they feel like they’re growing their personal value and making good use of their time.

Adopt an open management style

Keep your door open to feedback and grievances. Often your people have the answers to help improve the business and can see problems before you notice them.

Promote self-discipline

Leadership is not all about frontline management. Creating an environment where your team members are aware of the functions and operations of the business is time well invested and promotes self-discipline practices.

Tell your team members exactly what is expected of them. Teach them the best ways to initiate problem solving on all tasks for continuous improvement. Make sure they are aware of the processes and techniques of decision making in the workplace, and the quality of each decision that they need to make. For new team members, spend some time with them to highlight the most important aspects of the job description and some more specific rules and guidelines. Consider running a workshop on this method.

Create a workplace culture that celebrates great results and high performers

Reward people who perform in your business. As former US President Calvin Coolidge said more than a hundred years ago: “Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.”

Celebrate great results and great people, make it clear which values are most important in your organisation and the behaviours that will be rewarded. Don’t make excuses for consistent underperformers, it devalues the work that top performers produce, reduces morale across the organisation and weakens your position as a leader. Provide structures to support underperformers and give them every chance to get on track, but don’t sideline them. It’s not fair to anyone.

Build a culture of appreciation

Communicate more with your staff. Tell people what to expect next in the business, tell them when it’s happening, tell them when it’s been done and what the result was. People feel empowered, loyal and interested when they know their leadership team is making an effort to keep them up to date. It reduces gossip, increases morale and improves productivity.

Author avatar
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson is the managing director for Asia-Pacific at Power2Motivate, owner at The EI Group, and founder/director at EI Legal Pty Ltd.
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