Wekudo is a company on a mission to inspire happiness at work through awesome team building activities. We asked founder Lee Rubin to share her thoughts on how to ensure that your team is as happy, healthy and creative as possible – here are her expert tips.
As my team is growing, I’m doing more and more research as to what it takes to be a great manager and leader. I’ve always felt like in every office I’ve worked or consulted at, there is always that manager that is awesome at what he or she does, but just doesn’t create a healthy and conducive work environment. I started thinking to myself, does every office need that person?
While it’s obvious that great teams build great products, it is clear from my research and experience that the greatest teams prioritize and nurture a healthy and positive internal culture because they understand it is critical to the success of the ‘great product’.
The greatest teams prioritize and nurture a healthy and positive internal culture.
Inevitably, I believe, that what makes or breaks a great product depends on the ability to constantly innovate and the challenging of the norm (oh, and a TONNE of hard work). But in this hyper-competitive and ever changing landscape, what I’ve found to be even more important is the value of laughter, compassion, empathy, and the ability to let the ego go – not just for the manager or CEO, but collectively for the entire team.
In order to create a ‘happy office’, one must realize that there are multiple moving parts: the way your office feels; how your employees interact with one another; what your product itself does and how it serves the community; and how much you value your customers – how far you’re willing to go to bring extra value in their life. When you figure out the vision and voice of how you think the company should ideally be, you need to articulate that to your team members so each member can be a conscientious contributor.
Take a minute to let the ‘what’s and ‘why’s sink in, before we move on to the practical tips!
Say Good Morning, Good Night & Good Work
When I think about managing my team, I think about myself back when I used to work for someone else. What would I have liked to hear? I always enjoyed the managers who I felt like treated me like a person. One of my managers, Robert, always said good morning when he walked in the sales door. This might sound a bit basic to the managers who already do this, but you’d be surprised how many managers walk through the door and go straight to their office. It’s not that complicated, and I’d even say it’s common courtesy – which should play a functional role in your office. And as a manager, when your employee says good morning back to you, your emotional intelligence should help you understand their mood without really having to ask.
Good night has a similar ring to it.
Good work, on the other hand, is something that is completely overlooked in today’s work culture in my opinion. It seems like many managers think it costs them money to say it, or feel childish when declaring the accomplishments of their employees. Employees don’t just want more money, they want your opinion, feedback and praise. Accenture reports that 43% of employees leave their job because of lack of recognition.
Don’t underestimate the power of “Good work”!
Embrace Failure More
Laughter goes a long way when you’re feeling down in the dumps. Put things in perspective for your employees, and most importantly come up with a new game plan that allows them to reboot their confidence and lets them feel like they’re able to shake off their nerves.
To get to the level where you’re managing a group (or floor full) of employees, you’ve done a lot of things right. But I’d argue that you’ve also failed just as much, which allowed you to grow to the place that you are right now.
See optimism as a choice, and creativity and success an optimistic act that follows failure.
Look at failure through a human lens – see optimism as a choice, and creativity and success an optimistic act that follows failure. Therefore, failure is a key ingredient to success, but only through the iteration of constant optimism.
Eat, Cook & Laugh Together
Food gets people together. No matter what culture and background you’re from in the world, everyone loves a good meal. Lunchtime marks a natural pause in the day, and is a great opportunity for conversation and ultimately creativity.
As a manager, it’s your role, not to micromanage, but to encourage your employees to live a healthy and full life – that doesn’t include eating at one’s cubicle. Find a big table for your entire team to sit around for lunch; encourage employees to not book any meetings during those times so that everyone can be together. You’ll also find that when people have that one hour a day to talk, the other hours of the day they’ll focus on working, limiting lots of distractions in the office.
If you want to go one step further? Cook together. Team dinners at restaurants can get expensive. No matter what kind of budget you have within the office, open up your home and put together a dinner. There is something very human about cooking together and for one another – it’s a humbling experience.
It’s your role, not to micromanage, but to encourage your employees to live a healthy and full life.
Lastly – the role of laughter can not be understated. If we cannot laugh, we cannot move forward. Laughter is inviting, exciting, de-stressing and leads to serious business.
Your company, or the company you so eagerly joined, was created out of the inspiration to make the world a bit better. We’re all working hard to achieve our goals – you and your employees (and even that annoying guy cold calling you once a day!). If things don’t feel right – take a deep breathe, be honest with the people you’re working with, be supportive of their goals, express what you’re dealing with, listen to the things your employees are dealing with, and be kind.
It never hurts to just be a bit kinder.
Nudjed Health Resources are collections of online content and tools that offer simple, low-cost ways to improve specific areas of health. To discover which areas of health are affecting productivity in your organisation, check out Nudjed Insights.