No matter what your business or company specializes in, your customers are extremely important, and much of their experience depends on the individuals they work with: your employees. As a consumer yourself, I’m sure you’ve noticed when companies, businesses, or even government agencies have “dropped the ball” and are essentially just doing the bare minimum to punch the clock and get paid. Talk about a sad state of being, especially at work where you spend the majority of your waking hours! So how do you go about making sure your employees are happy, passionate, and fully contributing their unique value? Read on to learn more.
There are typically five key areas that should be examined to determine whether your work environment is healthy or not. If it isn’t, you may have some work ahead of you, but getting and keeping everyone on track will be well worth it in the long run. If you discover problems in one of these areas, you may need to overhaul everyone’s attitudes and habits, so brace yourself – if you’re a mindful leader getting ready to take on a company or department revision of any kind, be ready for challenges, resistance, and maybe even having to let a few people go (depending on how things play out).
Alright, now that we’ve covered the doom-and-gloom part, let’s get back to our usual business of sharing solutions.
Five Areas of Interest for a Healthy Work Environment
1. The Leadership.
Oh, no! No leader wants to hear this, right? However, one of the first places to look for issues concerning the work environment as a whole is whether leaders in this department or organization are narcissistic, sociopathic, manipulative, or otherwise toxic. If you’re the leader and this doesn’t seem like you, then you might be okay (although you may consider asking for feedback from your employees to be sure). If you’re evaluating another leader’s performance and see any kind of toxic behavior, do what is necessary to keep this person from destroying the health of the organization from within.
2. The Communication.
Communication is important anytime there are people involved, so unless you’re living as a hermit, off-grid in a cave somewhere in the mountains, it may benefit you to hone your communication skills… and everyone else, for that matter. Communicative dysfunctions can come in the form of misleading information, indirect communication (sending messages through other people), and withholding information. Pay attention to learn whether this is an area of concern or not.
3. The Side-Effects.
Are your employees depressed, gaining weight, suffering from addiction or alcoholism, or not sleeping well? These could all be the result of a toxic work environment, so if one department in particular seems like its employees are unhealthy, sluggish, or just plain miserable, you may need to take a look at that department to determine what’s going on. This type of development over time is not good, and it may eventually even be the downfall of the entire company. It’s better to acknowledge and solve a problem when you discover it rather than letting it fester and get worse.
4. The Rules.
If policies and rules are followed sometimes and ignored other times, the entire work environment begins to break down into chaos. One hand doesn’t know what the other is doing, and this makes dealing with the company an extremely frustrating experience for its vendors, customers, and even employees. Is everyone up to date on policies and procedures in your department? What about your company as a whole?
5. The Culture.
Attitudes can be contagious, whether they’re positive or negative. Just as misery loves company, so, too, does a happy soul love another happy soul to interact with. If your employees complain, feel miserable, and focus on all of the negative aspects of their job, then everyone will be miserable soon enough. However, if there are a few daily habits in place to put everyone in a more positive mood, you can keep the good vibes strong while disempowering chronic complainers.
Now that you know where to look for problems, how do you think your company, organization, or department is doing? Is your work environment somewhat healthy, or do you have your work cut out for you? Tell us your story by leaving a comment or reaching out to us via email. We love hearing from you!
As always, continue leading mindfully and have a wonderful week.
For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and mindful leadership, please visit:
Need some help with your mindfulness practice? The Mindful Moments can certainly help!