The state or fitness level of your department, company or organization depends on how you view the environment and your employees. In order to create a healthy work environment you, as the manager, have to be clear of the type of environment you want. What type of personality do you have? Are you laid back, task oriented, people oriented etc.? Do a self-analysis and then decide what type of environment you want.
Now that you’ve decided what type of environment you want let’s start creating it. If the environment you want to create is different from the current environment you have to develop a systemic plan to change it. You cannot go off half-cocked and think you will be successful. People may not notice subtle changes but the more changes you make the more difficulty you’re going to have “selling” the changes. To some extent you have to be honest with your employees of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Many people do not adjust to change easily and the more information they have the easier it will be to adjust. Lay out your plan so your employees know what the next step is and keep them abreast of the status of the plan. Make sure you are constantly communicating during the changing process.
Part of changing the environment means you are the first person that has to change. Before you lay your plan out make sure you are fully committed to making these changes. Changing a work environment is not an easy task you have to up for the challenge and be able to see it through to the end. If you are totally in then put that plan together and roll it out. I say you are the first person that has to change because you may have to change the way you view some of your employees. Part of changing the environment is making sure you have the right people in the right places. In order to do this you need to have an unbiased view your employees.
If you want your employees to change you have to change the way you view them. I’m not saying that some employees aren’t contributing to your negative perception of them. Yes, some employees just need to change their place of employment and if that’s not something you have thought of it’s worth considering. If you go that route, be mindful there is a formal process for as I like to say “helping someone leave” (firing someone).
You have to analyze how you view your employees the good, the bad and the indifferent. If you are partial to certain employees everyone knows it. You may have to be more impartial towards them. Let’s move to the more difficult employees. In order to change your perception of these employees you have to discover what the problem is. Is the problem the person or their work? In order to accurately discover the problem you must differentiate between the two. You can have a difficult employee and it have nothing to do with the duties they perform. Personality conflicts occur in every workplace.
Speaking of organizational fitness does this person “fit” in your organization? Does their personality mesh well with the atmosphere you are trying to create? Maybe they don’t belong in your department. Maybe their personality will mesh well with another manager or maybe just with another company. On the flip side are you the manager the difficult person in the situation? All personality conflicts are not the employee’s fault, just something to consider. Once again you have to determine if it’s the person or their work. We’ll dig deeper into this issue in our next post. Stay tuned.
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