Building an Enabling Work Environment

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” ―Richard Branson

To build an enabling work environment for both staff and employer, we must first admit that toxic work environment exists and amongst other things are one of the major reasons companies lose out on the best of human resources. Before the compulsory break from the office, conversations have been circulating bad bosses and even worse working environment. To many people, the #workfromhome policy was a breather from a tedious and rather toxic work environment and a chance to put a thought on whether to continue or to jump ship.
A toxic work environment will erode an organization by paralyzing its workforce, diminishing its productivity and stifling creativity and innovation. Now more than ever business leaders need to be addressing issues of workplace toxicity. It makes the difference in retaining good staff and also whether your company fails or succeeds. Employees aren’t afraid to jump ship when faced with a toxic workplace—and it’s usually your high performers who will go first.
In a Linkedin post by Bridget Hyacinth, she outlines noticeable features of a toxic work environment. 
Here we share insight on how to build an enabling work environment; we hope this comes in handy even as bosses see to the restructuring of the workplace as a response to the effect of the coronavirus. 

Creating an Enabling Work Environment

To get the most out of your team, you have to create a positive work environment for the entire team. When people feel encouraged, accepted and happy, they become more motivated and perform better. 
Here are a few tips to creating that enabling space for optimal productivity;

Connect beyond work

When you make the effort to connect with your team members in person—individually and as a group—you’re establishing a position of caring that motivates individuals in all sorts of crazy-good ways. 
It’s easy to send short messages in emails, and then rely on these small exchanges for most of your communication, we most times get lost in attending to tasks, making sure deadlines are met and we forget the people behind all the met deadlines and completed tasks. Don’t get carried away. Always remember to take a breath, look around and get to know your employees. 
Connecting with emotions have a way of bypassing logic; you see your team doing more once you get this part right.

Show your appreciation

One of the biggest complaints from employees is that they don’t feel appreciated. The second someone gives us a “nice job” or “you made a difference on this project,” we feel like we matter in a way that gives our work a sense of purpose. If you’re not so inclined to give out verbal gold stars, an easy place to start is with a simple “thank you.”
 Be intentional about awarding accolades to your team. It makes them feel they are part of the bigger picture and not just tools to get the job done.


Your entire team has great ideas. They have first-hand interaction and sometimes a better experience and perspective to the project they’re focused on. 
Steve Jobs once said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” 
The smartest leaders have the uncanny ability to hire people who are much smarter than they are, who will push them through diverse thinking and drive their business forward.
But all of the bright minds you hire becomes useless when you do not give listening ears to their ideas. 

Trust your team members

In my experience, delegation is one of the hardest practices in leadership. To let go of the reins and trust the team we have assigned to the task can be scary, but it is expedient in building a positive working environment. In action terms, this means that when you delegate, really let go and let the individual own the task you gave them. 
There are a plethora of ways to ensure you build a positive work environment. The crux of it is investing in the people that work with you.
Every successful founder talks about how at a certain point in a companies history. People become the best capital and your biggest asset. And if you get it wrong, it is the difference between success and failure.

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