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Creating a Winning Environment

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By Verl Workman

hire_fireThere’s an old business adage that says, “Hire slow and fire fast.” The new mantra seems to be “hire fast and fire fast.” I haven’t decided yet whether hiring cautiously or quickly is the right way to go—I’ve seen both work well—but I do believe that when you have a poor performer on your team, you need to move on…fast!

Maintaining a business culture that focuses on and rewards the best-performing individuals is a great way to build a phenomenal business environment. Having a productive and fun workplace, where people are encouraged to innovate and create great processes, systems and marketing ideas, is often the difference between a stress-free and productive office and one filled with pressure and conflict. When was the last time you heard these words: “I love where I work!” If that is not a common theme around your office, then it might be time to make some changes.

The positive changes I’m talking about begin with the right kind of leadership in the office. As leaders, we must recognize that people who love their work usually have bosses who reflect that same attitude—to their employees and associates—and to their customers. And everyone has a better experience as a result.

So, as leaders, how do we create this Ultimate Workplace? Here are several ideas that may help you create an “I love my job” culture:

• Start by Creating a Culture Statement. Your culture statement defines who you are as a company and what you want your office culture to be. I’d suggest you really think this one through and remember to get input from your team. You will discover areas you may not have known about that need improvement, and you’ll also hear what’s doing well. Once you have your culture statement defined, share it with your entire team.

• Clearly Define Roles and Goals. That may sounds simple, but most companies don’t do it. When people clearly understand what is expected of them and they know what the company is trying to accomplish, everyone can get on the same page and their behavior becomes consistent with the team’s goals.

• Reward Excellence. This can be monetary, but studies have shown that money in not the highest motivator for many people. Recognition and appreciation are often enough to reward those who excel and contribute extra effort to the common cause. Rewards can also come by giving titles to your people that make them feel great about their role and title within the organization.

• Training and Skill Mastery. People want to be masters of their domain. We all want to learn and master new skills, so that we are then ready for the next challenge. Invest in training, not just in technology-related training, which is common these days, but in areas of personal development and growth. Help your people become experts in a variety of areas that allow them to make more significant contributions. This not only keeps their skills improving, but it makes them more marketable in the workplace. When individuals have mastery over their areas of responsibility and feel like they are performing at the highest level, they have a sense of accomplishment and well-being, which benefits everyone.

• Eliminate Negative Energy. It seems that some people, no matter how qualified they are or how hard you try to work with them, bring a poor attitude to the workplace. Some individuals will even attempt to sabotage the company’s success because they feel someone has treated them unfairly at some point in their lives. In such cases, you have to do the tough thing and remove the negative person from your team. Give clear warning, make sure everyone knows that such behavior will not be tolerated, and then act quickly.

Whether you manage an entire office, a small team, or only have one assistant, investing effectively in human capital can be an important change you should make this year. Love where you work and create an environment that makes others want to be part of it and you will see your productivity and profitability go through the roof!

Verl Workman is the co-founder of Pinnacle Quest Consulting, a veteran real estate agent, speaker, trainer and coach. He is also the president of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network. For more information visit www.verlworkman.com.

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