Everyone’s Favorite Radio Station

buy-in demoralizing management style employee engagement employee experience leadership culture positive work environment productive productivity profitability results signs of a miserable job May 03, 2022
Positive Work Environment

So here’s the reality of it all… All the profit in the world, even when it’s a direct result of building a positive work environment, won’t be what motivates our team members - especially if we’re trying to hang onto every stinking penny of it - unless we can provide something truly meaningful to each individual who contributes to making that profit!

Yes, a solid onboarding process helps… Yes, employee engagement contributes to it… And yes, the organizational culture those things help build plays a role in achieving that sought after profitability - but none of those things just happen on their own. No organization magically stumbles onto buckets of free money lying around… It’s all part of the cycle, and a significant piece in that cycle is making sure we’re giving each of our team members what they really need so they have a reason to stay engaged.

If you and I are traveling in a car together, with me most likely being the driver because I'm not a very good passenger, there’s a decent chance we’d have some music playing even if we’re talking and not paying much attention to it. I’ve got lots of friends who are into all kinds of music, I’m just not one of those people! With a few exceptions, I like most southern rock, hard rock, and eighties metal bands. I will change the station or turn the radio off every time Queen or KISS are on - especially “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “I Wanna Rock & Roll All Night”! That said, I’d prefer no music at all over pop, country, or most anything else… While I can respect most styles of music, don’t expect me to listen to all of it…

OK Wes, how can that have anything to do with creating a positive work environment that ties in with the things we looked at before that contribute to profitability?

Just like I prefer certain music, albeit from a fairly limited range, we all have certain things that motivate us, inspire us, and just simply give us a reason to engage in our work regardless of how hard or unpleasant it may be on any given day. If that happened to be on a radio broadcast, I’m told the station would be called WIIFM, for What’s In It For Me?

As leaders, part of our responsibility is to communicate the message of who we serve and how we do it in a way that each team member receives it and that message fills a very personal need. That requires knowing every single person in our audience, and it means having at least a basic understanding of what’s important to them. If time were my friend here, I’d give examples of how we could do exactly that for each different primary communication style. Since I’ve done that multiple other times here, as well as in several lessons in our Leading At The Next Level program, I’ll press on…

With that in mind, a critical piece in creating a positive work environment lies in making sure we share that message so that everyone on our team knows how they contribute and what’s in it for them when they do. And while sharing in the profit gained helps, there’s certainly more to it than that so that’s what we’ll look at next. Until then, just be sure you work on playing tunes on the right station!