How management can create a harmonious work environment
Creating a harmonious working environment is one of the most important tasks for anyone in a management role, and it isn’t always as difficult to carry out as you might imagine. This is a positive change that can be achieved in many ways, with collaboration between management staff as one of the crucial aspects not to be overlooked. So, how can this be done effectively in various different ways?
Create shared goals
Having shared goals across the organization is one of the best ways of getting everyone to work together and feel part of a bigger plan. This has to come from a management level so that the goals make sense across the full operation rather than just for one department. As a leader, you can give everyone in the business a sense of all pulling together in your quest for success.
As with all goals, they need to be challenging but achievable, as this is how you get people to buy into them and try their best to meet their targets. In addition, you also need to find a way of making the goals equally relevant to each team and all of its members. Therefore, you need to consider how to find targets that everyone can feel a part of.
This is something that may be done at the same time as looking for a mission statement or value statement that encompasses the full organization. Finding a way to inspire everyone with a phrase that they like and that ties in with their shared goals are going to make it far easier to get everyone to collaborate well.
You could look at this as part of your plan to create a diverse, inclusive workspace where everyone feels welcome and at ease. The goals that you set and the mission statement that they’re drawn from are your chance to lay out a strong vision for the future that attracts workers with the same vision and who want to work together with others in the same way you do.
Having the right goals can keep people’s motivation levels high, and this is where the use of rewards can come in handy. You might offer financial incentives for meeting the key targets or use this as a way of getting workers to see that they can progress to a more demanding role if they meet their current targets. There’s also an opportunity to add some fun with a competitive edge that gets team members working hard to reach the top of a leaderboard.
Make communication strategies more effective
A good communication strategy is another element that should be in place to make the working environment enjoyable for everyone. This is what allows you to get the right message to everyone at the right time, avoiding misunderstandings or feelings of being left out of the loop.
Communication strategies can take many forms, with emails, newsletters and meetings all effective ways of getting the message across. One of the mistakes made by many companies, though, is to provide an information overload, which can destroy the working environment by causing employees to lose their focus or simply boring them with details that they’re not interested in knowing.
The best approach is to create a plan that shows how often meetings and other types of communication are going to be carried out. This can then be supplemented with additional emails or meetings if the circumstances change or you have something urgent to communicate.
Face-to-face meetings aren’t always possible, and the emergence of high-quality video conference technology means that this isn’t a big problem in most cases. However, it’s still worth trying to arrange a real-life meeting at least once or twice a year if you can.
Most of the regular meetings will be at a team level, but larger get-togethers where people from different teams mix are also useful now and then. This is a chance for each team to present details of their work at a fairly high level and for bonding exercises to help people get to know each other.
A successful meeting is one where the attendees all leave feeling that they have a better idea of how things are going than they had before. On the other hand, poor meetings with no clear purpose or actionable outcomes can lead to frustration and be a huge waste of time for everyone involved.
Encourage group-wide projects
Working closely with the management of other teams also provides you with the opportunity to create projects that get carried out by members of diverse teams. Ideally, you’ll have an important project that affects different areas of the business, as this means that workers from these areas can all contribute to it.
Even if this isn’t the case, you should look for ways to get group-wide projects going. They offer people in each team the chance to find out more about the overall business while making new contacts and getting the chance to discover other roles. This is one of the best ways of making people feel part of the same overall effort.
Employees should feel positive about contributing to improvements in the way that the business works, as well as seeing first-hand how they and their colleagues benefit from the changes that they implement. Having a solid project management strategy in place will ensure that you keep the work on track and that the stakeholders feel part of the process too.
This is one of the best ways of looking forward and getting ready for new challenges, but there are some points to consider when setting up a new project team. For instance, this may be a completely new way of working for some people, and they might find that they need to learn skills as well as discover new tools, so it’s something to be planned carefully and used as a part of each team member’s development plan.
Some companies might decide that it makes sense to set up a permanent cross-team project office so that there are always experts available to handle any new projects that crop up. In other cases, this might not be necessary, and you could create a new project team every time a major new piece of work is needed.
Build trust and transparency
Anyone who feels trusted is more likely to contribute effectively and feel part of the overall company-wide team. One of the best ways of creating that trust is by making the work as transparent as possible. When different management teams collaborate, this is an approach that ensures that the feeling of transparency grows.
You might decide to share important figures such as revenue and diversity numbers, in the way that some major companies have started to share these details with their workers. It’s important for every worker to understand how much they earn, but they’ll also be interested in other details if given the chance.
Speaking positively of other business areas is crucial, as this helps everyone trust other teams rather than creating a feeling of working alone or, even worse, being in competition with the other areas of the company.
This is another area that has a huge effect on staff satisfaction and retention rate, with a study from Future Forum Pulse suggesting that job satisfaction may be up to 12 times greater in an organization with a high level of transparency. However, there’s also a warning that too much transparency may prove to be negative for some workers.
Give employees autonomy
One of the best ways of keeping employees happy is by giving them the right level of autonomy in their jobs. This lets them accept more responsibility and gives them the satisfying feeling that they’re growing and learning as they do so. Not everyone wants the same level of responsibility, so this is a point that needs to be handled sensitively by finding out each person’s own view of their future and how they want to progress in their career.
Of course, there are several things that need to be done before you can increase the autonomy of team members. First, they need to understand their role and how it fits into the overall structure, while there must also be some controls to ensure that everyone adheres to the limits in place for them and understands the consequences of not doing so.
This is one of the best ways of helping everyone take their career forward, and it can also be a good way to introduce employees to new parts of the business and to people who work in other areas. For this reason, this strategy should be carried out with great forethought and with the management of different areas working together closely. You can’t just give someone more control and leave them to sink or swim on their own.
Some of the tips you’ll find online for increasing employee autonomy include encouraging them to use flexible working schedules to fit their lifestyles, giving them more control over their roles and delegating tasks. This can provide you with benefits such as increased loyalty and job satisfaction, which ultimately tend to lead to greater levels of staff retention.
The introduction of remote working has allowed many companies to increase the autonomy that they can offer their workers. As part of this change, it’s important to let workers consider areas such as their work-life balance and how to handle working from home. If done well, it can be a fantastic way of entering a new era with a more positive, satisfied team of workers.
Consider the training needed
Everything that we’ve looked at so far should lead to a better working environment and increased levels of productivity or efficiency. However, it’s not going to be a simple, overnight process that changes everything with no effort involved.
Instead, it has to be part of a planned strategy where everyone involved understands their individual role and has been trained to do what’s expected of them. Simply introducing the changes that we’ve looked at so far without some sort of training plan could lead to disaster.
This has to start with the management staff, who can only be expected to lead the move towards a more harmonious work environment if they have the right training to go with their experience. It’s an excellent way of leading by example and showing that the right training is important for everyone in the organization at any level.
For example, gaining an EdD in Organizational Leadership from an institution such as Spalding University is a huge step in the right direction. This is a valuable qualification for aspiring leaders that allows them to carry out a strategic leadership role on an ethical basis. This full training course can be completed online, meaning that it’s a convenient way to boost your leadership skills.
Naturally, team members will also need to get the training and support they need to make this switch to a new way of working. This is a good moment to think about engaging with the leader of other teams to consider cross-training staff to increase their vision as well as opening up possible new opportunities in the future.
Use the right team working tools
Now that you know how to pull all of the different elements together to create a pleasant working environment, it’s time to look at the final vital aspect, which is the tools that you should use.
It’s particularly important when you have people working on a cross-team basis, as they need to be able to communicate effectively and track tasks that move between teams. Therefore, it makes sense to look for tools that standardize processes and let people use as few platforms as possible.
By keeping these points in mind, you’ll find that it’s easier to create a better working environment by working closely with other team leaders and management staff. These suggestions cover many different areas, so you might feel more comfortable gradually introducing them over time rather than trying to do too much all at once.