Create a Culture That Allows Employees to Thrive

Every day, millions of workers show up to their workplace and their souls scream in despair. With a heavy sigh and gritted teeth, displeased employees push through their workday until another opportunity comes their way. This negativity and complacency spreads throughout the organization like a virus. Where there is one unhappy employee, there is bound to be another.

Organizations across the country have become focused on employee engagement. Workers are a company’s most valuable resource and, in today’s competitive market, it can cost organizations a lot of money to lose employees. But what is equally costly is the time and effort organizations put into making sure their employees are engaged.

The truth is that employee engagement is a complex issue. There are many factors that may lead a worker to become disengaged with their work. What may be a solution for one person doesn’t necessarily inspire another. Workplaces can spin in circles trying to please everyone and never really touch on the deep-rooted issues at play.

While a fun workplace may engage some employees, what most people really want when they go to work is the autonomy to do their job and do it well. This is accomplished by setting your employees up for success. Create an environment that allows employees to thrive.

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What does this look like? For starters, organizations should have standardized policies wherever possible. This is no truer than for healthcare provider organizations. Streamlined and standardized practices ensures providers are delivering the best patient care no matter where they are working in the hospital.

Documented employee practices and policies act as a guideline for employees, and, as it turns out, most people like a little structure – knowing what is expected of them. A lack of order means chaos, and people quickly become overwhelmed in a land of chaos.

In combination with setting expectations, leadership must ensure they are being consistently applied and followed. Consistency is key. Employees expect their leaders to follow through on commitments and “walk their talk.” If leadership wants trust and respect, they must model it and set the example. They should show employees what they expect, and not just demand it.

Instead of furiously attempting to keep all employees happy, organizations must acknowledge this is a nearly impossible feat. The reality is that an organization cannot bend to make every employee happy all the time. The best thing a company can do for its employees is set them up for success by giving them expectations, ensuring they have the resources they need to do their job, and trust from leadership that they are able to accomplish their tasks.

The novelty of a “fun workplace” wears off rather quickly. What keeps employees satisfied with their employer isn’t a casual dress code, unlimited vacation time, or free food. Positive energy and satisfaction comes from an environment of mutual trust and respect. Don’t expect it if you don’t give it.

Jackie Larson

Jackie Larson
Jackie Larson is president of Avantas, a provider of workforce management technology, services, and strategies for the healthcare industry.

Jackie Larson

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