Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by Andrew Graham on Oct 8, 2013 in Culture, Engagement, Featured, Inspirational | 3 comments

6 Ways to Implement Climate Change in the Workplace


The term “climate change” often evokes images of melting ice caps and sad, drifting polar bears. It is a decidedly negative thing. But there is one often overlooked setting in which climate change can have tremendously positive outcomes— the workplace.

The American workplace has an engagement problem, as evidenced by such research as Gallup’s recent “State of the American Workplace” report, which asserts that 70 percent of U.S. employees are not meeting their full potential. Much of this underperformance can be attributed to managers’ mishandling of office climate.

The American workplace has an engagement problem

Effective managers know how to coach employees so that they are productive, challenged, and happy at work. Still, most workers have at some point, experienced a boss who has yet to master this formula. As a consequence, the work climate devolves into a negative environment, marked by employees who have low engagement and are “just getting by.”

Forum’s research has shown that there are six ways that managers can work to change workplace climate for the better.

  1. Commitment – A good manager will make sure that the team’s goals, accomplishments, and problems are discussed on a regular basis. Proactive discussions like this will enable the team to feel united, learn from each other’s mistakes, and work towards common goals.
  2. Recognition – Offering positive feedback is a critical management practice. Doling out regular praise is a great motivator for the team: if a job is done well, they know that their good work will be acknowledged.
  3. Clarity – A manager should clearly define the organization’s goals and expectations for the team. Employees who are left to figure it out on their own will tire quickly, which leads to disengagement.
  4. Standards – A manager who sets appropriate standards will help to create a challenging and fun climate at work. The goal is to set standards not so high that they’ll be continually out of reach and also not so easy that they’ll be continually met.
  5. Teamwork –Fostering a climate of teamwork and collaboration will go a long way in creating and maintaining a positive working environment. A manager should emphasize to the team that they’re working toward one common goal in order to prevent team members from competing with each other.
  6. Responsibility – A manager should have enough confidence in their team to be able to entrust employees with responsibility. Doing so will empower the team and enable managers to focus their energy on priority tasks such as coaching.

Effective managers know how to coach employees so that they are productive, challenged, and happy at work.

Before this blueprint is put into action, managers should assess the current climate by getting feedback from employees around motivation and management style. Once the current engagement temperature is tested, mangers can develop a course of action, guided by these tips, to get on track and facilitate a stellar workplace climate.



Image credit- stockerteam / 123RF Stock Photo

Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter

Andrew Graham

Andrew Graham is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Forum Corporation. He has over 18 years of experience in the leadership development, management consulting and training sectors and has established an international track record of leading and managing professional development firms.

468 ad
  • Shweta Khare

    Traits of a good manager, indeed! I would add volunteering, social responsibility to this list. Employees feel engaged when they can contribute to their community when often it is not possible during the 40-50 hours work week they put in.

    • TedCoine

      Strongly agree, Shweta! And volunteering teaches managers how to lead people who aren’t getting paid and who can’t be fired. If you can successfully lead volunteers, you’ll make a great leader.

  • TedCoine

    Outstanding post, Andrew – thank you for adding value to our community of purpose through your insight today. I’d like to call out several points among your six, but that would probably end up as a post of my own!

    So let’s focus on #6: responsibility. If a manager has the right people on her team, in the right roles, and she is confident in her own skin, then she is very well-served to let the members of her team take over execution on their shared goals. A manager who has no need to micromanage and who resists the idea to “do it right herself” will be free to coach and to serve the team as the team needs that service.

    Excellent management is like the supply corps serving soldiers in battle: more bullets here, more c-rations there, more blankets over there as the frontline needs. Keep the team productive. It is 100% about service, and 0% about bossing.