Create a Workplace for Achieving Peak Performance

Norb Slowikowski / February 2018

Establishing a workplace that will motivate your people requires several steps that will result in people having a positive attitude about coming to work. Motivation is not what you do for people, it’s what people do for themselves. Employees tend to do their best work when they get what they need, know how to deal effectively with the challenges they face every day and have a process to follow when confronted with tasks that are new.
Set up the process by accomplishing the following:

Implement a Feedback System
Encourage feedback from your people and provide them with feedback. If people have difficulty doing their job, and you don’t receive or provide feedback, you can’t fix the problem.

Manage Conflict
Conflict is unresolved controversy due to differences in perceptions about:

  • Expectations, both upward and downward.
  • Resources required to do an effective job.
  • Confusion about key job responsibilities and role demands.
  • Personality differences.
  • What’s going on in each other’s world.

It’s difficult to eliminate conflict because we’re not always sure when it’s going to occur. However, we can learn how to manage it by identifying what each person wants, and then find ways to satisfy those wants.

Provide Effective Coaching
Coaching is eye-to-eye communication between two people to build positive relationships, mutually solve problems and improve performance. A manager or supervisor’s job is to help employees improve their performance, not criticize them. Coaching cannot occur unless both parties trust each other. This requires:

  • Being clear about what’s expected.
  • Displaying integrity. Your actions must match your words.
  • Displaying a genuine concern for people’s growth and development. Help them to improve.
  • Being a coach, not a critic.

Display Effective Leadership
It is the leader’s responsibility to establish a positive work climate so that people like coming to work every day and doing their best work. Effective leadership requires the following:

  • Treating people with respect.
  • Valuing the employee’s contribution to the success of the company.
  • Involving employees in decision-making.
  • Treating employees fairly by measuring performance against standards.
  • Providing positive reinforcement when people perform good work.
  • Holding people accountable for desired results.

True leaders get the most out of their people by facilitating for success, not by barking orders. By going through these four steps to set the right tone, you can provide your people with the resources they need to get results.

Norb Slowikowski is president of Slowikowski & Associates, Inc., Darien, Ill. To contact him, email