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Leaders Letters A Leadership Resource

Edition 6. November 2007

Lessons in creating a positive workplace culture


ind reasons to say yes. Give and accept feedback.

Listen. Ask questions. Use humor positively. Understand how decision making processes affect the workplace culture. These are a few of the insights offered by Dr. Gerry Hopkirk to DSSS supervisors and managers this month. Dr. Hopkirk invited participants to commit to do, or change something that would result in a better workplace culture. “We all have the power to change about 15 percent. That small change can make a big impact in the culture of our work sites,” he said.

“ Let people know how well they are doing and point out the good things when they occur. I see so many good things happening but sometimes don't take the time to tell people, I want to be genuine though , so will be careful with how this is received. Encourage positive energy.”

Congratulations Pharmacy and Dental Team

Here are a commitments made by a few Social Service and Seniors supervisors following the half day learning event led by Dr. Hopkirk: “Speak positively to and about my coworkers at all times.” “Lighten up” “Try every day to connect personally with each of my team members and try to extend that presence and connectedness to others beyond my own team more often. Weeks go by where I haven’t seen a worker or a supervisor because we are in a different area of the building and our work is somewhat separate. Crisis need not always be what bring us together.”

Alan Toombs (left) and Pat Craw ford (right) accept an award presented to the dental and pharm acy team s recognizing them for being first to subm it briefing notes for the fall session of the legislature. The “just for fun” award was presented at m orning coffee hosted by Minister Currie and Deputy Cam eron in appreciation for the efforts of em ployees who contributed to house preparations.

Managers as motivators By Matt Krumrie, reprinted from Management anagers who understand what motivates each employee can tailor incentives accordingly. But your motivational toolbox should go beyond rewarding excellent work. Just as important to keeping workers engaged is a plan for encouraging, consoling, and embracing them when they invariably slip off track.


But how do you find the right balance between supporting employees and pushing them to meet high standards? Motivational pros offer some insights. PROVIDE FEEDBACK, BOTH POSITIVE AND CORRECTIVE Regular feedback -- both positive and corrective -- from managers helps keep employees on a path of continuous improvement, says Sharon Jordan-Evans of Jordan Evans Group and author of Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay. "Most people want feedback and will use it to improve," Jordan-Evans says. "Give them room to stretch, grow, make mistakes and excel. But be sure to reward the behaviors you want repeated. When talented people seem motivated to you, notice it and thank them. They'll repeat those actions and attitudes." CREATE A POSITIVE ATMOSPHERE A positive corporate culture also motivates employees to do their best, says Tracey Turner, executive director of The Creative Group. Professionals will work harder for managers who show they care about employees as individuals and want to help them succeed. COACH THROUGH THE UPS AND DOWNS Carol E. Gilson, an adjunct professor in human resources and management at St. Paul College, offers these tips for coaching an employee through a rough period: When an employee makes a mistake: Help him determine why it happened and understand the consequences. Then show confidence that the employee can do a better job.

When an employee becomes complacent: Meet with him to discuss his slip in performance. Is it due to a specific problem? Offer ideas to help the employee improve, and clearly define expectations When an employee has a new project -- and more work: Show your enthusiasm for the project, and ask everyone involved to commit to it. Turner stresses the importance of positive reinforcement as a motivational tool: Celebrate accomplishments: A simple thank-you note or public praise will increase an employee's confidence,

while a staff lunch at the conclusion of a major project can help build team spirit. "The impact of showing appreciation for a job well done is tremendous -a recent survey commissioned by our company revealed that lack of recognition is one of the primary reasons employees quit their jobs," he says. Criticize carefully: When you must criticize, do it privately, and keep the discussion performance-based, not personal. Be consistent, and hold all employees to the same standards. Set clear expectations: Conduct regular performance appraisals so employees understand what's expected of them. Instill confidence and enthusiasm by noting an employee's strengths and special skills, not just perceived weaknesses.

Leaders Letters are produced by the Human Resource Team of the Corporate and Finance Division. They are distributed to members of the Senior Leaders Group and posted to the public drive. For information and feedback contact 569 7568.

Lessons in creating a positive workplace culture - Leaders Letters November 2007  
Lessons in creating a positive workplace culture - Leaders Letters November 2007  

A Leaders Letter resource for creating a positive workplace culture.