Work has connotations of drudgery and soullessness, but you have it within your power to bring joy to the people in your office. That’s true regardless of what your title might happen to be or how long you’ve been at your current job.
Established in 2008 in Sunny San Diego, UE.co has been recognized as an Inc. Fastest Growing Company. Most recently, the company established the UE.co scholarship, which awards $1,000 to a student attending college in the fall who promotes community improvement.
Here, UE.co sheds light on the simplest ways to keep people out of the dumps.
This doesn’t mean head out to your local soup kitchen with your team, although that’s a fantastic way to reach out to the community. It also doesn’t mean brownnosing and shooting your hand up for any new opportunity the company offers. It means being observant throughout the day and noticing when people need a hand. They might not ask for the help they need for fear of seeming weak or incapable, but simple gestures like asking if you can take items to the mail room for them or finding the charger for their device can help them feel less alone or invisible. Eliminating that sense of isolation is key to a connected, warm business atmosphere.
Ask for their opinion.
So often, particularly on lower levels of the typical business hierarchy, people are simply told what to do, under the unspoken premise that years of experience earns the right to be truly heard and call the shots. By asking people what they think in an everyday way, you challenge this convention and send the message that everyone’s ideas have value, that everyone can contribute. When people see they have a path to impact, it’s much easier for them to feel like they have a deeper purpose. You also learn more about what motivates them and the type of person they are as a whole, which fosters better relationships.
Talk them up.
Most good business leaders take some time to formally acknowledge accomplishments during team meetings or written communications, but you can brag about your employees or coworkers in more casual interactions, too. For example, tweet a thank you message for the way they encouraged you before a presentation, or tell them you were impressed by how fast they got data pulled for you.
Make your objectives–and the why behind them–clear.
Being clear about your goals and their underlying motives makes it less likely that others will have to backtrack, start over or rework what’s already been done, improving efficiency. But goal clarity also allows individuals to really analyze whether what they’re doing aligns with their personal vision and objectives. This is especially important now in business because people spend more time in the office than ever before. Without as much time off the clock with which to gain a sense of purpose, they look for that fulfillment in work and want to know that what they’re doing matters.
Draw clear lines in the sand.
Sure, there might be times when it has to be all hands on deck to make something work. But people need to be able to plan and enjoy life outside of the office. They can’t do that if you have them always on call or constantly hit them with extra projects at the last minute. Respect that, when they’ve clocked out, they’ve clocked out, and do your best not to blur roles.
Maybe you found out that a new movie is coming out that the anime buff who sits next to you would enjoy. Or maybe you just got an email about an upcoming seminar you know your social media expert would benefit from. The bottom line is, sharing the information shows that you think of and respect the other person. It also often gives them opportunities to grow and develop. And when people have a sense that they’re becoming better, they feel more confident and satisfied.
Give them the chance to make it right.
One of the biggest reasons people feel crummy at work is because they think that, if they make a mistake, they’ll be ostracized and punished for it. They spend their day desperately trying to avoid errors, rather than really focusing on being freely creative or letting their real personality shine. When a mistake happens, instead of simply shaming them, actively engage with them about how they can correct what happened. This gets them to take ownership of the problem without destroying their sense of competence or inclusion.
Work might be full of tough tasks, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be warmth and compassion in the office. Be willing to mentor those around you and build them up where you can–the proof of your difference will be not just on their faces, but in their performance results, too.