Creating a High Octane Work Culture
My car requires high octane gasoline. The fuel is more expensive but the engine runs at peak performance. Put the low octane stuff in the tank and the engine is sluggish and makes a disturbing clattering sound. High performance engines must be fed the right fuel to run at peak performance.
For your people to maximize their performance they need a high octane work atmosphere. By providing great leadership and a first class work environment, your company will operate at peak performance.
Try one or more of these quick ideas to jump start a low octane environment into a high performance culture:
#1 – Leave people alone. Allow people to get their work completed without interference from the boss. Provide appropriate direction and let them loose to accomplish their work.
#2 – Just listen. When your people talk, open your ears and focus on what they are saying. Oh, and put down the damn smart phone when having discussions.
#3 – Open up. Use email, text, pictures, social networks and videos to communicate with your people. Mix it up. Your people perform better and are more engaged when they possess up-to-date information.
#4 – Loosen up. When you are tense all the time, your people will sense it. World class athletes perform best while relaxed. This same principle works for employees.
#5 – Show interest. Get to know your people and show you are interested in their well-being and success – not solely their results.
#6 – Give them a lift. If someone is having a rough time, brighten their day. A simple kind word or note makes a difference.
#7 – Get real. Be yourself. Unless you are a jerk, don’t disguise your personality. Faking it will not work among high performing, perceptive people. They want to see the real you.
#8 – Have fun. Fun should not be against company policy. Unless you’re working at a funeral home, lighten things up. Take time to unwind. If needed, insert beer and wine.
#9 – Walk around. Leaders need to walk around the workplace every day. Great leaders get out of their office and talk to people. Your best ideas won’t happen inside your office.
#10 – Eat together. Eating together should be a ritual. Most people love to eat and it’s a good way to get everyone together in one place. In case you’re wondering – yes, buy their lunch.
#11 – Be flexible. Life happens and you need to make room for it. As long as people are delivering results, when and where work gets done is irrelevant.
#12 – Expect excellence. Have high expectations. Set the bar high and inspire them to perform at their best. If you have high expectations, they will not disappoint you.
#13 – Create a higher purpose. Employees want meaning in their life and work. People are looking for a mission, not simply a career. Identify how their work makes the world a better place and drive this message home.