Six Steps to a Great Workplace

Let’s imagine for a minute: You’re the new CEO of an established company. Its performance has been average, customer loyalty is falling and your best employees are leaving every week. The previous CEO subscribed to a command and control management style allowing for little flexibility and no room for mistakes. The employees lived under an ever-present fear of doing something wrong.

As the new CEO, how do you transform the culture of this organization? How do you turn a fearful environment into a company considered a great place to work? Here’s six steps that will prove imperative in turning the company around and creating a great place where employees want to work and customers keep coming back.

  1. Talk with Leaders: Communicate your vision for the future and the new workplace you intend to create for employees in the coming months and years. Do your best to obtain leadership buy-in.
  2. Leadership Roll Call: If your leaders are not on board with your vision of creating a great workplace built on trust and respect, it is time to clean house. The qualities of trust and respect are foundational elements of a great workplace, and your leaders must also possess these qualities.
  3. Technical vs. People Skills: The initial reaction for many CEOs will be to retain leaders with excellent technical skills but poor people skills. This is a bad idea for positive culture transformation. Always keep apprised of how supervisors are doing in this area. Give supervisors a chance to change and buy in to your leadership model. However, company assistance and a timeline should be attached to your people skills expectations.
  4. A Messy Process: Creating a great workplace is a messy process. The organization has likely accumulated many bad people practice habits and not everyone is going to be happy with the changes. Although you are trying to transform the company into a great workplace, the metamorphosis from toxic to great can rattle a few nerves. Give your HR team permission and authority to fix poor people practices immediately.
  5. Spend Time with Employees. Jump down from that executive suite and spend time with the people who interact with your customers. Ask them how things are going. Serve them lunch and sit down and eat with them. Have a Q&A session afterwards – and allow any questions to be asked and answer them honestly. Follow-up with the group for any questions with which you don’t have immediate answers. The bigger your organization, the longer this will take. Fortunately, technology is making the process of being more than one place at a time easier.
  6. Openly communicate what is happening in the organization. Legal, operations, marketing, and even public relations may try to convince you that you cannot openly communicate important information to employees. Building trust with employees, the number one ingredient of a great workplace, is created with continual, open communication. Don’t restrict this important leadership responsibility.
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COMMENTS 2

Comments

Kevin - kudos to you! For MANY years I have been a company coach; wearing that hat I found myself in the boardroom one day and the trenches the next always listening, talking and sharing. I have often told my clients - if they ever learn to truly communicate, create dialogue in their organizations, I'll be out of work!
Communicate, communicate, communicate - that means creating dialogue, creating safe conversations, listening to employees ideas and discussing them. I believe with all my heart and passion that being emotionally savvy IN TODAY'S WORK ENVIRONMENT is KEY TO AN ORGANIZATION'S SUCCESS AS WELL AS ITS LONEGEVITY.
We are demanding a great deal more from today's workforce and, in most cases, people step up to the plate and take ON the new responsibilities TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY. Having said that I could write a book on the conversAtions that have gone on behind the scenes; the fears, the heartache and the discontent that employees have shared with me because they feel out of the loop, disengaged, uninformed. Employees often mistake new ways of doing things and cost saving systems as red flags of warning that the company is in trouble.

AN EYE OPENER TO ME WAS WHEN I ATTENDED a weekly management meeting AND the CEO discussed the state of the organization and asked his management team where they thought the company stood on four critical success factors. their answers met the recently audited success factor results - in all areas the company was an A. The next day I took the exact same discussion on the state of the organization to the work force and asked them to rate where they thought the company was on the same four critical success factors. Not one of the EMPLOYEES answered positively - each one had taken the recent changes as negatives and their interpretation was that the company was in serious trouble in all four factors! And we wonder why production slips!

Communication doesn't Flow through an organization naturally THERE HAS TO BE A WELL THOUGHT OUT DELIVERY SYSTEM. I am amazed that leaders still look puzzled when I share conversations that I have heard in the trenches that are completely diametrically opposed to what is being said by the leadership AND THEREFORE WHAT THEY BELIEVE AND THINK IS HAPPENING.
We need to get back to basics. trust and honesty are the key elements needed in a company for success- the only way to builD trust and honesty is to communicate - TALK, SHARE CORE VALUES, ideas and situations - positive and negative.
I HAVE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE IN MY CAREER TO HAVE HAD THE MOST INCREDIBLE OF MENTORS - MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE LEAD HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE AND IF I WERE TO SAY WHAT THERE #1 BEST SKILL WAS IT WOULD BE THEIR ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE AND CREATE COLABORATIVE CONVERSATIONS THROUGHOUT THEIR ORGANIZATIONS. BY DOING THIS THEY HAVE BUILT AND SUSTAINED SUCCESSFUL ORGANIZATIONS.

A leader should be able to break silence between two employees and help them to maintain a congenial environment at workplace. Learn how to get over with workplace harassment San Diego.

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