You spend at least one-third of your life asleep, and at least one-third of your life at work. That means you’re only spending, at most, a third of your life pursuing your passions or interests and spending time with family and friends. This begs the question, how can founders and CEOs create an environment their team members want to be in?
As the leader of your business, this one priority can be the difference between making (and keeping) money or losing it over lost opportunities and failed projects.
If you want to create a workplace that your people are obsessed with, then focus on emotional intelligence and consider implementing these four practices into your business, pronto!
1. Regular check-ins
One way to alienate your people and kill their productivity is to become their feared overlord. Employees want to be part of a team where their contribution makes a difference, and they can see how their work contributes to the company at large, and the clients served.
Creating an atmosphere of trust, understanding, and respect is vital if you want your people to respect you and increase their productivity. One way to do this is to hold check-in hours where employees can meet with you, ask questions, and voice concerns. This helps you in two ways.
- First, when your people trust you enough to confide in you and feel heard, they emotionally bond with you. This humanizes the company and the work you’re doing. When the company wins, your team members feel a personal win.
- Second, this gives you insight into what’s working in your business and what’s not. Often, you’ll be able to spot things before there’s a big issue and avoid larger liability problems that are costly and damaging to team morale.
Check-ins are great ways to praise employees who are excelling and offer support to employees who are struggling. This simple practice can help you regularly monitor daily operations while providing the emotional support your team requires to keep morale up. All of this helps to create powerful momentum and productivity.
2. Communication safety zones
Communication safety zones are a powerful way to create a standard of communication in your company. This helps curb workplace bullying while setting appropriate boundaries for healthy team communication.
To create a communication safety zone, you have to set the parameters. Common parameters include:
- No whining
- No blaming
- No name-calling
- Come to the table with solutions for problems
- Respect the feelings of others
Whatever boundaries you create in your communication safety zone, the idea is always the same: create an office environment where your team members aren’t afraid to express their thoughts so you can find solutions to problems.
By setting a standard, you will have fewer problems and a team that feels heard and understood by their leaders. This will also give you insight into what areas individuals need additional support, training, workshops, and/or certifications, which will help your company pull ahead as an industry leader and stay on track to continuously scale.
3. Bonding activities
With great vision comes great responsibility — and a ton of work! It’s easy to get sucked into a never-ending to-do list. But if your team members are constantly focused on tasks, they’re not building an emotional bond with each other and the company.
One of the best things you can do to create a high-performance team is to organize weekly or bi-weekly bonding activities. These activities are designed to take your people out of the hustle and encourage everyone to have fun.
To rock this out, look for activities that are inclusive and diverse. Find out what your team members love. What gets them excited? What makes them feel inspired? What helps them relax? And most importantly, what gets them talking to each other about something other than work?
Here are just a few ideas to get you going:
- Rope courses
- Movie days
- Catered lunches
- Salt room relaxation
- Workshops for personal development
- Relaxation days with on-site massages and art classes
If individuals have special needs or dietary restrictions, find ways to include them so everyone can have a great time. Inclusivity is vital for powerful team dynamics.
A business is a community effort. Without your team, your business doesn’t have the same potential for wins and power. So it’s important that they feel honored and celebrated whenever the company has a win.
Set aside one day each week as your celebration day. This is where you share a rundown of all the wins your company had that week, and celebrate the teams or people that contributed to the success. Call out your team members by name and talk about the actions they took that made all the difference. Celebrate struggles along the way as well, and how you came together as a team to create a win.
Another way to implement celebrations into your company culture is to give awards to team members who excel—not only at their job but for other things that are important to the overall success of your business.
Giving people awards for excellence in communication, empathy, acts of service, thoughtfulness, and other attributes that lead to team success will help promote specific core values among your team while solidifying those values as status symbols. The higher your team’s emotional intelligence and support, the more revered they are in the company. This normalizes emotionally intelligent behaviors as the standard.
Jennifer Longmore is a company culture and high-performance consultant, working with business owners and corporations to create company cultures that inspire loyalty, innovation, creativity, and leading-edge problem solving, while increasing productivity and profitability, using the Forensic Transformation Method™. She uses over 15 years of experience in forensic investigation, leadership, and team dynamics to discover company profit leaks and plug them through systems, structures, and processes that foster productivity and profit scaling. Her genius has also been featured in publications and media outlets such as Fox News, ABC, Global News, Bustle, the LA Times, and more. Connect with @jenlongmore on Twitter.
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