The workplace needs to be a vital source of enrichment and positive energy for employees at every level of the organizational chart. Many employees commit the majority of their waking hours (even including weekends) to their profession, especially when commutes are included. They cannot afford to be drained day after day with continuous stress or discouragement or disillusionment. The depletion that results from that kind of life is too high a price for an individual, a family, or a society to pay. And it hurts the organization as well.
The price of an energy-deleting environment shows up across the board – in loss of productivity, profitability, motivation, retention, loyalty, innovation, and, in the long-term, sustainable success.
An inspired business culture relies on an environment of enrichment, where the energy sources are greater than the energy depleters. Where does this enrichment come from? Here is a brief overview of ways that your workplace culture can enrich the lives as well as the careers of the people you lead. Each of these enriching factors is described in more detail – what it looks like, why it’s important, and how to make it happen – in my video series, Creating a Culture of Positive Influence.
- Leaders are intentional about creating an environment that provides more energy sources than energy depleters.
- Employees feel that they are recognized and valued as individuals who truly matter to the well-being of the organization. They believe that they are taken seriously. Their boss talks to them about them – who they are, what’s important to them, and what they hope to accomplish and contribute.
- They believe that their boss sincerely cares about their success and wants to contribute to it – for their sake as well as the boss’s.
- They feel valued for what they offer to their teammates as well as what they produce. They are valued for helping their teammates succeed.
- They feel that their boss and their company not only care about them, but also believe in them. The more you believe in the people you lead, the more they will believe in themselves, and the more successful they will be.
- They feel that their initiative is appreciated, especially when sacrifice is involved.
- They feel that their improvement is appreciated, and so are their efforts to help others to improve.
- They are not asked to compromise their integrity in order to meet a goal.
- There is a company-wide commitment to achieving resolution, and not leave things dangling.
- Employees believe they are held accountable in a way that protects their dignity.
- They believe they are working for a purpose greater than just their boss’s personal agenda. They believe they are pursuing a mission that has value beyond just making the boss rich.
- People are expected and trusted to finish what they start, and do what they say they’ll do.
- There is a sincere emphasis on helping employees to conquer fear, as opposed to using fear as a tool for increasing results. The team culture defines encouragement as giving courage to others.
- Finally, and most importantly, the key to providing enrichment in the workplace is selflessness. We place the well-being of others on the same level, and sometimes even higher, than our own. When selflessness is one of the defining qualities of the team culture, enrichment in the workplace reaches its highest level, because selflessness fuels all of the other factors to reach their fullest potential. “Unselfish” is one of the words most frequently used to describe leaders who provide the most powerful positive influence.