Friday, April 3, 2015

Greatness is calling for you.

Five obstacles that stand in the way of a great workplace, and how to overcome them all. 

Every person desires a great workplace, an environment that is conducive to collaboration, teamwork and having fun. The following five issues are prominent in the workplace, but there are solutions to each.  In order for any change to be made, the pursuit of greatness must first become a priority, for both employees and managers.

1.       I don’t have time.
Even though the problem may seem complicated, as in we cannot have 25 hours in a day, the solution to lack of time can be quite simple. Leverage the systems you already have in place for change.  One approach could be eating lunch with one team member a day, or even the whole team, in order to get to know each other as people, not just a coworker. Another easy way is leaving ten minutes of every staff meeting to have an open discussion.  Let every person have their say.

2.       My workplace is different. “I’m all for it, but this would never work in my industry”
Many issues are not as unique to the industry as we might think.  Striving to maintain excellence in night shift employees is as universal as anything. It doesn't matter if you are in a manufacturing facility or at a suit-and-tie desk job, a great workplace is desired by all.

3.       It’s not the right time.
Change is never totally enjoyable, and presents its challenges.  However, a disruptive event can be the perfect catalyst for another important factor; trust.  Engaging employees in trust-building practices during the large change can create a sense of community, maintain sense and purpose, as well as promote safety and support throughout the process.  Research shows that when leaders take time to build trusting relationships with employees, it enables those employees to embrace changes faster.

4.       My employees are the problem.
Understanding a pattern of behavior, whether good or bad, is crucial to fostering a great workplace.  There are many factors that encourage employee behavior, from family and life situations to job roles and responsibilities.  When an employee does something once, it a fluke, twice is a coincidence and three times is a pattern.   Understand behaviors before setting goals is crucial.

5.       My boss isn't on board.

Even though you have the vision of a great workplace, unfortunately lack of leadership buy-in to the plan can be a formidable obstacle.  If you have the desire, you can have the ability to build trust-based relationships with employees. Reaching out can build trust, pride and camaraderie.  Stay focused on things that you can influence, and in time, your sphere of influence will increase and open doors that were once closed.