Put on a Happy Face: Inspire Your Workers to Succeed

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WorkplaceDid you know your emotions as the boss can affect the success of your company?  “Great leadership either inspires or deflates teams. The effect of the manager sets the tone for the entire culture of an organization as employees model the behavior of their supervisors,” notes Tamika H. Stewart, a licensed clinical social worker and business consultant.

So the saying, “It begins at the top” holds true for the mood of the workplace. Managers must work hard to create a positive work environment. “In order to promote a positive work environment, ask yourself if you’re modeling the traits of effective leadership? These traits include honesty, effective communication and, most importantly, a positive attitude,” says Stewart.  “No one wants to follow a negative Nancy. And more importantly, a workforce that is full of negativity is typically not a productive one.”

Having a boss who is always in a bad mood can be distracting and counterproductive. Says Chris Edmonds, CEO of Purposeful Culture Group, “A CEO or manager’s angry moods typically have the same negative impact on company team members. It causes workers to pay close attention to the boss’ moods. If ‘angry boss’ is present, team members make themselves scarce. They limit interactions. They’re afraid of doing anything for fear they’ll get into trouble.”

But sometimes when you are too close to the situation, it is hard to be objective. So how do you know if you are giving off a destructive, negative vibe?  “Effective managers must seek feedback from staff just as much, if not more, as they offer feedback to employees,” explains Stewart. “Employee satisfaction surveys are one way to gauge the success of your employee engagement efforts. It is also important to seek opportunities to interact with staff consistently throughout the year. Bagel Breakfasts and town hall meetings are a few ways to understand the organizational climate. Finally, a great way to find out what your employees are thinking is to simply ask them. Feedback assessments give employees an opportunity to critique your performance and offer suggestions for improved growth—if you use these assessments effectively.”

Edmonds, author of the upcoming book, The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace (John Wiley & Sons), suggests having and “organizational constitution in place. “By creating and aligning with an organizational constitution, leaders can eliminate negative impact (by the CEO, other leaders, and by team members) and boost workplace safety, productivity and inspiration,” he explains. This means making it formal.

“An organizational constitution is a formal statement of the team’s (or department’s or division’s or company’s) purpose (reason for being), values and behaviors, strategies and goals,” Edmonds advises. “Values and behaviors have the greatest positive impact on workplace inspiration. By defining values in observable, measurable and behavioral terms, the CEO defines what great team citizenship looks, acts and sounds like.”

This will not only boost morale but, in turn, boost profits.  “When my clients embrace an organizational constitution, they typically see a 40 percent growth in employee engagement, a 40 percent boost in customer satisfaction and a 35 percent increase in profits – in as little as 18 months,” he says.

Ditch the attitude and help your bottom line. “Put lousy moods aside and embrace a behavioral framework for workplace inspiration. Your team members will thank you,” says Edmonds.