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Four Leadership Tips That Foster 
A High Performance Work Environment

What Sort of Leader are You?

As the movie 'Horrible Bosses' implies, and Peter Drucker states (although much earlier than the movie):

So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.

Hopefully this isn’t your employees’ opinion of your company, although, sadly, there may be a lot of workers who do nod their heads in agreement.

We no longer live in ancient times where you drive a slave to work by whipping the life out of them. Unfortunately though, some companies have the propensity to return to this ancient means. No, I’m not saying some companies are scourging or whipping employees literally, but instead they are using fear and pressure to force employee engagement – which is a frail and flawed means that will never be successful.

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

See our page, management is not the same as leadership for more information.

Peter Drucker

If you’ve got a couple of stares burning at your back right now, then quickly digest these 4 leadership tips that foster a healthy work environment. If you apply them, you will begin to see a change from the top of the company hierarchy down to back office services.

1. Treat Each Employee with Respect

Most employees, if not all, will agree with me when I say that what most bosses lack is humility.

Of course, there must always be a form of authority that must be exercised in a company, but you can have authority and still be humble. The lack of humility is the root problem, but the by-product is even worse – they think they can boss everybody around and treat them like crap. Just because you have a higher position doesn’t mean you can step on your employees.

A humble leader always identifies with his or her employees and proactively helps them solve problems by being approachable.

A healthy working environment consists of engaged employees who do their work out of respect for one another, not fear.

2. Ask not, “Who Did This?” but, “What Can We Learn From This?”

It is a fallacy to think that after being humiliated, employees will perform better. No. There is a difference between correcting someone and humiliating them.

Pointing a finger only makes it worse – it debases your employees’ professional confidence.

Nobody wants to make a mistake so, whenever your workers make them, don’t rub it in their face. They are already more sorry than you know. Correct them, but then encourage them afterwards. A healthy company has an environment that constructs and edifies, not destroys and embarrasses. If you wish to have more productive and caring employees, demonstrate compassion towards them first.

3. Learn, As Hancock Did, To Say: “Good job!”

Exert from 'Hancock', 2008 Columbia Pictures.

More than you know, and more than they will ever tell you, your employees very much appreciate a pat on the back.

Small words of encouragement like, “Good job” and little gestures such as a thumbs up will raise their spirits a mile high.

Is it really that hard to say, “Good job!”? Some bosses (and superheroes) find it very difficult to do.

Don’t be uptight about it. Put some effort into it, like Hancock did, and learn to say these words that mean so much when uttered to an employee.

Go on practice, “gggggooooooddddd jjjoobbb”.

That’s better.

4. Never Ever Forget: Employee Engagement Starts at the Top

You cannot demand your employees to work, slave and drive themselves like a locomotive while you’re just sitting there checking your Facebook newsfeed.

You are to be the ‘role model’. Emit the character and values that you want to see in your employees. If you want them to be hard-working, be hard-working, punctual, excellent… Be the change you want to see. If these characteristics and values are not present at the top of the hierarchy, they won’t trickle down to the employees.

Employee engagement is not rocket science. It’s as simple as the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Here’s another tip, “The more you give, the more you receive”.

If you want to create a high performance working environment, then simply look after your employees’ happiness. Tend to their needs. Give them a little bit of their wants (within reason) and you will see your employees begin to love their work and care about each other, maybe even care about their bosses.

About the Author

Mishka Tolentino is a business student at University of the Westminster. She is a freelance writer, web enthusiast and social advocate. She spends her free time listening to classical music and taking snapshots. Follow her on twitter @mishkatolentino.

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