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What can you do to create a positive work environment for your team?
People would prefer to work in a positive environment more than in a negative one. You, as a frontline leader, have a tremendous impact on the attitude of your work group. Even if the overall climate in your organization is negative, it’s still possible for you to have a positive climate with your team. Your attitude as a leader is contagious. When you’re negative, your whole team will turn negative.
The following example is from one of our clients who was a Division Head and recognized that when he came to work in a foul or negative mood, it only took a couple of hours before everyone around him got negative too. That caused a decrease in customer service, reduced teamwork and created more stress for everyone. To help overcome the problem, he put a sticky note on the dashboard of his car that said “Smile – your profitability depends on it.” Here are three practical tips for creating a more positive environment for your work team:
#1 Be more positive
This deserves repeating. You need to be a more positive and optimistic person and have an optimistic mood knowing that will be contagious with your team. Even if you’re having a bad day, avoid letting your negativity show or you will end up paying the price with poor performance in your team.
#2 Be more encouraging
Your team will appreciate your encouragement to acknowledge progress towards goals, positive momentum during change and reassurance when they take on new tasks and assignments. Encouragement builds deeper and stronger relationships and that supports trust.
When you’re having team meetings, resist the urge to start by listing problems. Instead, take a few minutes to highlight the positives before focusing on the problems. You will find your own mood improves when you are more encouraging towards others.
#3 Coach others to be more positive
Once you’ve got your own positive attitude, it is time to coach your team to be more positive. That includes confronting and correcting the more negative people on your team to be more positive. At first you might not think that negative attitudes hurt performance, especially if the person who’s complaining manages to keep their own production at an acceptable level. The real impact of the negative team member is the impact they have on their co-workers. Overall production, safety and quality will decline when the overall mood is negative. Help the negative people on your team understand the impact that their attitudes have on others. Try to pivot them to being more positive. By helping support a more positive work environment in your team, you’ll likely see less absenteeism, lower turnover and greater performance in terms of production, quality and safety.
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