Improving culture within a public organization is critical for developing a healthy organization. The state of your organization will dictate what this means so be willing to step back and take honest stock of the situation. Perhaps it means being more family friendly for those subordinates with children or instituting a sincere open door policy for each level of your organization.
Empowerment is the concept of affording your employees the freedom to take on a task or duty right in front of them in order to do the right thing. While this may take some time to change, its important to communicate this clearly and frequently to your subordinates so it becomes ingrained.
It may also take some time to change your mentality as there will be some inconvenient situations arising as a result and your attitude in your responses must reflect the same conviction as when you originally communicated your subordinates the right to take action.
Making delegation a priority can help your organization much more efficient. We all have a tendency to want to do things ourselves to ensure they are done correctly, however this is not always the best use of our time. What are you currently doing someone else could do without compromising their ability to perform their other duties?
Provide More Recognition:
Another key is to increase recognition for good work throughout your organization. Employees who are recognized for putting forth the proper effort and for consistency will be more motivated to continue doing so. Plan for new ways to include recognition whether it be a brief addition to regular meeting or perhaps quarterly awards. Your organization will be better for it.
Don’t wait till everyone is burnt out to decide to plan recreational activities for your organization. Simple things like a monthly potluck or quarterly happy hour can help foster comradery and help avoid the pitfalls of pinned up frustration in the work environment. Having a good meal and a few laughs may well save you many headaches down the road.
Plan for new ways to receive feedback on things happening within your organization. As an example, when implementing a new policy schedule, a 60 day review of it with several members of each level of your organization perhaps all of it depending on the size. Consider adding an anonymous dropbox for feedback and suggestions. As a leader, you will gain some important insights into your organization and your employees.
Skip Level Transparency:
Consider making reports, meeting minutes, and various other types of non-confidential information available to those on lower levels of your organization. Those who want to dive in an truly understand the ins and outs will benefit greatly as will the organization in the future due to their increased knowledge. For the rest, just to know the opportunity to look deeper should the desire arise often provides a valuable peace of mind that can lead to a more harmonious work environment.
Take someone under your wings and share the wisdom you have gained. It doesn’t have to take a tremendous amount of time, maybe a lunch once a month or a phone call here and there. You’ll find that you may learn just as much. Also if you do not have a mentor, get one. There is always someone who has been where you want to get to. Learn from them so that your journey will include less turbulence.
This is a personal one. Schedule a 10-minute break in your day free from every distraction. Use this time just to pause and gather yourself. You’ll find this technique will allow you to maintain your composure. It will also help you to maintain a high level of self-awareness allowing you stay more present in your instinctual introspection.
Create a simple rule for yourself that you will pause for 3 seconds before responding to something that incites an emotional response. In that time, ask yourself internally a logical question such as ‘what is really happening here?’ You’ll find after taking a moment to pause and think logically, your actual response will differ greatly from how you would have responded, thus helping you avoid undesirable consequences.
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