From Jack Mitchell’s book Hug Your People: The Proven Way to Hire, Inspire, and Recognize Your Employees and Achieve Remarkable Results, here are five principles on how to create a cordial, friendly, motivated and productive work environment:
NICE: It’s How You Treat One Another
Jack Mitchell believes it all starts here – creating a culture at work for your people to feel happy and motivated. Hire nice people, train them with a mindset for a career with you rather than a job, know their names and their hobbies, recognize them, have fun and reinforce the connections you have made by encouraging them to share information on what matters most to them.
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TRUST: The Most Important Principal of All
This is the most important principal because trust is the foundation of any solid relationship. Mitchell believes personalized relationships are the cornerstone of every career. Set expectations but not a long list of stringent rules and regulations. Give up an authoritarian leadership for one with shared responsibility. Make your company transparent by sharing sales results and other measurable goals. Accentuate the positive during performance reviews. Check in with staff and don’t check up or make them feel like you monitor them constantly. Resolve conflict between associates quickly and openly. And finally, educate your employees on how to embrace change when they are struggling.
PRIDE: The Power of Us All
Have a solid, simple, inspiring mission statement that acknowledges your employees as your greatest asset alongside customers. Offer them a great working environment, the technology and tools they need to do their jobs, and the chance for more education. Make the workplace feel like home — warm and inviting. Hold parties and invite their families to attend. Embrace the community where your business is located. Be generous in recognizing accomplishments by anyone in the organization and celebrate those big and small moments.
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INCLUDE: You Can’t Do It Alone
Employees need to be included in company strategy and decision making. Invite people to participate, particularly if there is something at hand that plays to their particular talent. Seek input from everyone, from the bottom to top of the company, on any issues that you can. Include the people who provided input into important decisions to actually participate in making them happen. Involve everyone, and everyone will feel invested in the outcome.
RECOGNIZE: It’s More Than Money
Dozens of studies have shown that a bigger paycheck is NOT the only way to make employees happy. Once you are paying competitive wages and benefits for their position, you need to think carefully about how to reward employees. Make rewards personal and long lasting. Understand that treating everyone fairly doesn’t mean treating them the same. Support your people when they struggle. Be quick to acknowledge a hire that isn’t working out and address the issues. Leave the door open to employees you valued who left and have changed their minds and want to return. Hire for life and a long term career with everyone who works with you.
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Excerpted from the book Hug Your People: The Proven Way to Hire, Inspire, and Recognize Your Employees and Achieve Remarkable Results by Jack Mitchell. Copyright (c) 2008. Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.
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