This article describes six key things that commonly have a negative impact on workplace culture and provides some ideas leaders can use to creating a more positive environment.
What You Stand for as a Leader is Unclear
Our standard of leadership is the foundation upon which our behaviour and our responses to issues and situations depend. If you have not fully explored the criteria that underpin your leadership, it may be that you don’t always respond in a consistent way. You may lack certainty or confidence. You could end up agreeing to things that in fact don’t sit well with you, or not always stand up for what you believe. You may also feel incongruent about the choices and decisions that you sometimes make.
In addition, bot being able to express what your leadership standards are (because I’m sure you have them) makes it difficult for you to set expectations for the team, as well as model and teach leadership.
Take some time to explore what is important to you as a leader. What is it that you stand for? What is important to you? What do you expect of your team members?
People are not Connected to a Common Purpose
Because we spend so much at work, if what we do lacks meaning for us, our sense or feeling of wellbeing both at work and across life generally may suffer as a result and so might our work and our level of engagement. It is important therefore, to create an environment in which people truly feel that what they do has meaning and is meaningful.
To help people feel connected, try having regular conversations with your team and individuals about:
People are not Connected to You or Each Other
Connecting with those we work with at all levels is important. It helps people feel valued and engaged which in turn promotes wellbeing. To foster connection try:
People Feel a Lack of Appreciation
Following on from the last point above, people like to be rewarded for the work they do and as we know, pay is not the biggest driver as a reward. Most people prefer to be shown that they are valued in some other way as well, for example:
Team members who feel trusted, who feel like they are accomplishing things and making a difference are likely to feel more engaged. Micromanagement occurs commonly because of a lack of trust in self and others, commonly around:
To increase trust, try being SMART about delegation:
Bullying Behaviours Tolerated
Last but not least, ignoring, denying, justifying or living with bullying behaviours is a significant culture killer. These behaviours have negative impact on individual’s wellbeing, both the person being bullied and the others in the team.
If this is happening in your workplace take steps to address it. Be clear on your leadership standard and make sure others are too (see point 1). Find out your bullying policy. Talk to someone you trust like a mentor, HR, EAP or a coach and find a way of solving this problem.
By Debra Pittam: working with you on to effectively manage change, foster employee engagement and build positive cultures through executive/leadership coaching and facilitation. Let me know how I can help. Call 0421 775 924.
Strengths Finder Assessment and Feedback
Doing Strengths Finder coaching has enabled me to see how I can make the most of my natural abilities. The test itself outlined 5 particular strengths but it was the coaching that meant I now know how to actually utilise this information. It is going to help me a great deal when it comes to my academic life and in particular how I can study in the most effective way. The coaching helps access the key to knowing your strengths and Deb has helped me devise a plan of how I can move forward with these skills. Her work with me has been vital to the Strengths Finder process and I would absolutely recommend the coaching as vital to finding your strengths.
Family Harmony Workshop for Parents
The course gave a great framework to build a more harmonious family - I find it difficult to explain to my teens why I don't like their behaviour but with this toolkit I am able to articulate this easily and less emotionally, resulting in better communication and a less charged atmosphere. Thanks Deb for the lifeline
Team Building Facilitation and Coaching
As a new Manager to a newly formed team of eight staff, I engaged Deb to facilitate our first team planning day. The objective of the day was to identify a shared vision and to start a process of strategic planning for the next three years. The day was a great success and set the team up with greater clarity of purpose and a framework for future planning.
Deb demonstrated a great understanding of the team, its context and challenges. This was due to her careful and thorough planning and reflections prior to the day. Deb managed the varying levels of engagement among the team exceptionally well; she did this with the establishment of clear ground rules and a sense of trust and respect. Deb listened actively and regularly questioned for greater clarity before reflecting on the team’s contributions.
We ended the day with a clear vision that was shared and in which all members felt they had an investment. Deb followed up regularly after the session to check in on progress and to provide advice about next steps. We were extremely lucky to have been able to work with Deb at this important stage of the team’s development and I would not hesitate for a moment in engaging Deb again.
Angela Hehir, (Manager)
Business Leadership Coaching
Debra's help in getting me to focus on the strategic direction of my business and my work-life priorities has proven invaluable. She has the ability to ask simple questions to create greater clarity and focus in both work and personal goals. Debra is a great listener, follows up on her clients and creates a great support base for her clients through recommending network groups, courses and reading material. For those who want a leadership coach that goes that extra mile,
I highly recommend her.
Yvette Audet, Sport & Recreation Management Services
360 degree feedback and Mentoring
Debra provided feedback on my 360 leader/manger profile. I have taken this style of development tool on two prior occasions and found the feedback underwhelming. This time I found that Debra has an empathetic and approachable feedback style. Previously I have felt very much that I was being placed in a stereotypical box.
I liked Debra,s approach and understood more that the outcomes of the survey reflect a favored management leadership style and this could be flexible. Debra is able to draw out your thoughts on how you feel others perceive you rather than preaching which was a great attribute.
We talked about the outcomes and the way forward and I was left with a comfortable feeling that I could achieve my higher aims. Debra provided positive feedback and kept in contact after the initial interview. Her trouble in organizing some key topic papers and net links was commendable. I hope very much to take Debra up on some future mentoring and would highly recommend Debra’s leadership skill set to you.
Professor Tim Lyons, Newcastle
Concrete personal career goals
I have appreciated my coaching sessions this year more than I can say. Deb has challenged me at every turn which I have loved, making me work hard to find my own solutions during an extremely professionally challenging year. This has been extremely satisfying.
I also now have concrete personal career goals and a plan on how to get there – non existent when I started coaching and really not something I consciously thought I needed. As a consequence I feel more focused and motivated for the next year and beyond.
Finally I would have to say my coaching session with Deb have been an absolute lifeline for me this year, keeping me on track, helping me to grow and learn and ultimately make a monumental shift in my approach and style as a leader. I am very grateful for her time, patience, humor and professionalism – I am certainly am better leader thanks to coaching with Deb.
Bernadette Hollis, Sydney