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GREAT workplace environments in the sheep and wool industry don’t just happen – they are a result of hard work from leaders, and buy-in from staff.
But if managers are able to achieve a great work environment, their team will pay them back with consistency, productivity and excellence.
So what are the secrets to an energetic, harmonious and productive workplace?
As a leader, you first need to lay down the foundations for a good work environment. A cohesive team will come from doing the basics right, and setting a clear expectation of your team’s culture.
Nothing kills team spirit like workplace whispers. What may have been something entirely minor and inconsequential can, through a series of half-truths and embellishments, mutate into something quite the opposite. As such, a policy of openness and honesty is a non-negotiable for a great workplace environment.
Employees that know what’s going on and are included in the conversation are far more likely to feel invested in where your organisation is heading. This will lead to greater output and greater work satisfaction.
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The number one reason that employees leave jobs is that they feel underappreciated. Everyone likes to be recognised for a job well done. It’s human nature. If an employee’s hard work does go unnoticed, it can have a severe effect on their current motivation, and ultimately on their future output.
Pats on the back for a job well done are a simple – almost token – gesture, but one that is the most effective weapon that a leader has in their management arsenal.
By solving problems as a team, you’ll bring the group together for a common cause. The unity that comes from this collaborative approach can be invaluable – employees feel like they’re contributing to the company’s success, and by doing so as a team, they can enjoy the subsequent accomplishments as a team.
Promotion of work/life balance
All work and no play will risk making your team dull or dispirited. If your employees feel as though all they do is work, their motivation will drop. Employees need to feel as though their workload is manageable. If they sense that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, morale will suffer.
Along with not over-burdening employees, managers can also help them achieve a healthy work/life balance by offering their team activities that are non-work related.
Non-work related activities – whether employed during working hours to break up the day, or outside work hours to allow your team to socialise more naturally – can be a boon for team spirit.
Sports or recreational activities
A social sporting event like a scratch game of cricket or tennis, a Cattle Baron board-game knock-out competition, or other pastime engaging your employees is a fantastic way to cultivate team spirit, as well as promote health and fitness within your business. It can create excellent intra-department banter in the coffee room, and the competitive juices generated may flow nicely into the workplace.
Another option is a more one-off activity. Taking your team for a half-day fishing in the local waterhole or Melbourne Cup day lunch at the local pub will offer excellent opportunities for them to bond over a shared experience.
Your team needn’t be bound by the weekday hours of 8 to 5. Offering to shout your employees’ dinner and a drink on a Friday night – perhaps as a reward for good work can strengthen their social bonds, and if all goes well, these events can also make for some excellent banter on Monday morning.
Taking some of these initiatives and boosting your workplace, your team will be able to get to know one another on a more personal level, creating familiarity that will go a long way to boosting the morale during the working week.
By combining good management foundations with a little bit of fun, managers should see a noticeable boost in team’s spirit. While a manager can’t control every aspect of their employees’ work experience, they can certainly lay some solid foundations for a fun, harmonious and productive environment.
Source: Meat Processors Pty Ltd