Working for several different employers gave me a good understanding of work ethics and motivation at varoius workplaces. There are many factors that affect the performance of employees that go far beyond personal ethics of each individual. As a supervisor I had to constantly motivate my team and I realized the importance of fairness at all aspects of working relationships.
To have an efficient team and highly motivated employees, the employer needs to understand the fact that only a happy employee will work well and will contribute to overall prosperity of the company. Here are a few suggestions how to achieve a motivating working environment with happy employees:
1. Recognition. The employer should recognize achievements of the employees at all times. Recognition, even if it's only a verbal thank you, will have a great effect and will be a huge motivation for the future. Understanding that employees are not only payed workers, but people that are actually helping building the company and are directly involved in the prosperity of everyone that is part of it, can be the key to lead supervisor in how to treat them.
2. The salary. The salary should be fair. It is the biggest motivational factor in any working environment. We all work to earn the money to support ourselves and our families. Being under payed is a huge stress factor. What does an under payed employee do? They start looking for a better paying job. When somebody is looking for a better job, motivation for prosperity of the current workplace significantly drops. All the attention is focused on a future, better payed job.
3. Positive environment. Positive working environment has a great effect on motivation. Nobody wants to come to work where people argue all the time. How would an undermining attitude have a motivational effect? The employer should make sure to treat employees with respect and build friendly place to work in. By showing positive attitude the employer motivates employees to act the same way towards each other and create respectful relationships. Occasional treat such as, free coffee, or free monthly lunch would go a long way as well.
4. Express disapproval properly. Employees don't always do their job properly. How do you tell them without being disrespectful? Every action needs evaluation. When an employee doesn't do the job well, he/she needs to be told so. But to make it less stressful it can be done in a respectful way with the instructions how to do the job better next time. Avoid a too emotional confrontation. If the mistake costs the company money or a reputation, emotions are probably high and the situation is very stressful. Maybe, it would be easier to confront the employee a little bit later, when the initial anger settles down a little bit. And remember: There is always room for improvement, for everybody.
How about the employees? Can they create positive workplace? What are their responsibilities?
Once the employer established a respectful environment and pays proper salaries, employees should contribute to a positive working environment too. Of course they should do that always, but lets be fair: It's hard staying positive if you are working for a low wage and have been constantly criticized by a supervisor.
However, many times we see people chronically unsatisfied with any kind of working environment, even the most positive. They are the people that will seed arguments between the co-workers.
How to be a good employee then, so that your boss will be happy with you?
1. Positive attitude brings you a long way. Having a good relationship with your supervisor and your co-workers makes it easier for you to come to work as well as for others. Also, it creates a motivation for other co-workers.
2. Good work ethics. Make people proud of your work. Contribute to overall prosperity of the company. That will make not only your boss happy, but you as well; knowing that you have done your job well, creates the feeling of self worth and pride.
3. A helping hand. You have to make sure that you are always there for others. Help out when the help is needed; offer an advice when somebody else doesn't know how to do their work, especially if they are new at the company. Of course you have to make sure that your co-workers don't take advantage of you. Offer help, but if you see that a co-worker starts asking for help all the time, it's probably time to back off and let them do the job on their own.
The basic rule of a positive working environment is respect. If everybody would treat others the way they wanted to be treated, the working environment would always be a pleasant place to work at.