The secret to a happy, highly effective professional team is really no secret at all. Much of what inspires success in the workplace boils down to putting the right tools in place to enable communication and community among workers.
As any HR professional knows, that can be harder than it sounds. An alarming number of workers report high levels of disengagement and dissatisfaction with their company culture. This number is even higher among women. What can HR pros do to produce happy, more efficient teams?
1) Honest feedback
Honesty really is the best policy. Transparency is instrumental in building a healthy professional relationship.
The feedback you provide, whether you’re highlighting strengths and weaknesses, won’t sink in if your reports don’t trust you — especially if they believe the lack of transparency may impact their career. Try and enable a culture where management feels comfortable speaking frankly and honestly with their subordinates.
Equally important is allowing your employees to express worries and frustrations without fear of repercussion. Tools like TINYpulse that enable anonymous employee feedback make telling the unvarnished truth feel comfortable and secure.
2) Say what matters to you
In many cases, people don’t think their professional lives connect with their values outside work. Many don’t believe that the work they do creates a positive impact outside the four walls of the office. That doesn’t have to be the case.
Putting your company values at the forefront of what you do helps to build connections among team members and gives them a shared purpose at work. Volunteering, fundraising, and messaging centered on creating a positive impact can all make a difference. Values initiatives allow companies to reach out and connect with their community as well.
3) Track progress
Historically, HR professionals have been tasked with identifying all the ways in which employees exhibit signs of growth — both objective metrics, i.e. higher productivity numbers and more professional accolades, and subjective measures like positive feedback from supervisors and colleagues.
Thanks to advanced data tracking and processing software, HR pros can take that information and get meaningful insights into the development of their teams. Using benchmark data, HR teams can set targets and help workers establish goals to stay motivated, purposeful, and proactive. These targets can be personal for individual workers or set to track team development, engagement, and job satisfaction.
4) Shared leadership
Overcentralizing ideation and decision making in leadership roles leads to stagnation, disengagement, and even boredom among team members. Instead, think of ways to distribute shared leadership responsibilities throughout your teams. Not only can it strengthen the bonds of your workforce, it may also help broaden the understanding of many people. Leadership responsibilities can be a real eye-opener!
Shared leadership introduces a degree of flexibility that can make an organization more efficient, more cohesive, and more inclusive. In a shared leadership environment, team members collaborate in decision making and build trust as a community unit.
5) Build understanding
Disagreements in the workplace are inevitable. However, when HR leaders enable communication and understanding between individuals and teams, conflict becomes less frequent (and, very often, less entrenched). Having an outlet to anonymously discuss frustrations can go a long way.
The way a company handles disputes between employees and teams provides a key indicator of a healthy company culture. When you make an effort to understand where your people are coming from, you can find creative and equitable resolution to problems that otherwise may have gone undiscovered. Building understanding is fundamental to successful conflict resolution.
6) Positive mood
It might sound silly, but good vibes lead to better business outcomes. Creating a positive, friendly work environment makes work more enjoyable. When work is more enjoyable — dare we even say “fun?” — workers are more productive.
Challenges exact less of a toll on people, and long hours melt away rather than dragging on. Over time, workers in a positive environment experience less burnout and turnover. Not every company culture is ready for a game room, but even small measures can make a big difference.
Want to know what your employees really think? Schedule a TINYpulse demo today.