For the majority of the population, working time is a large part of their lifetime. Even if the sun is shining in the job every day, joy, justice, and collegiality are among the most important values of employees today – regardless of whether they work part-time for 4 hours a day or complete with 80 hours every week. The working time is just a number from the time clock. The total hours we spend on our job. But what is decisive is what we are doing and how we are doing. An important factor here is the working atmosphere. What constitutes a good working atmosphere and what can every boss and every employee contribute to creating the right framework for motivation and good performance in a team? Because new, flexible working time models or the best part-time arrangements are not good solutions, as long as the air is still thick in many offices and leadership is mistaken for thunder. Only the right climate turns working time into a valuable lifetime.
Good working atmosphere: more than just playing party games and conflicts away
When researching the working atmosphere, I came across tips especially for superiors, such as “Always celebrate birthdays in a team!” Or “Praise your employees regularly!” how often superiors should do something with their team each year. Climbing garden or dinner together or something. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy?
A team event every 3 months, the weekly recurring appointment reminder in the boss calendar ‘Praise employees now !’ and the sign at the main entrance ‘We value and respect each other during working hours!’ Some employers now also have feel good managers, i.e. chief harmony officers, who are the first official act to introduce the masseur at the workplace, the vegan weeks in the canteen, and kickers and hammocks for the creative breaks in between. Good climate thanks to Feelgood cash injection. Cuddle course and ringelpietz with hands for the dear employees.
That’s how a modern work culture under the heading New Work doesn’t work for me and I find some behavior when I peek behind the corporate walls, very frightening. The fact that jobs are created in companies that specifically focus on the well-being and satisfaction, and thus on the health and performance of the employees, is less important (although: isn’t that the original task of every manager and central to HR?) but the attitude that a good working atmosphere can be bought through the use of funds and introduced through the planned implementation of measures that have been adopted. This is outdated thinking from the times of the economic miracle.
A lot of new things are well thought out, but the implementation still follows old patterns. After all, those who force their employees – and many employees still see the invitation from bosses as a compulsion to take part in fun team events, now offer them tofu schnitzel instead of currywurst / fries, put on the party hat well-meaning for every birthday and also any other The deliberate smile of conflict and anger just makes it worse. Too much artificial sunshine from the watering can can seriously dampen the mood in the office. Because all of these measures express one thing above all: The boss knows best what is good for his employees. A patronage that in most cases no longer does justice to the real interests of employees.
A good working atmosphere is an experienced corporate culture
The corporate culture can be described as the character of a company. These are not colorful guidelines that employees hang on the office wall and it is not a promise that everyone has to make every day when they enter the office. Corporate culture is a lived and tangible basic attitude.
The working atmosphere is largely determined by the corporate culture and the interaction of people in the corporate system that takes place within this framework. This also includes customers, suppliers, service providers or applicants. Companies like to forget that and are of the opinion that culture and the working climate end at the doorstep.
If an employer is committed to creating a better working atmosphere for its employees, then the basic corporate culture should first be put to the test. It is crucial not only to throw chic phrases like appreciation, openness or respect around you, but to fill them with tangible behavior: What does openness mean in concrete terms? How can all employees, their relatives and also customers or applicants notice that the culture is characterized by openness? How does this openness show up in everyday interaction, for example when dealing with mistakes? It is very difficult for many organizations to fill these corporate values with life, but only then do the terms mentioned become a real, tangible culture as well as a tangible and visible working atmosphere.
Climate change in companies
The culture and the working atmosphere in a company can change overnight, as in the weather – in both directions. Just think of the latest events at Volkswagen. This also has an impact on the working atmosphere. Because it is clear that many employees at VW are currently worried about their supposedly safe job.
Different events can trigger a climate change in companies and thus also a change in the working atmosphere. If top management comes under pressure, as in the VW case, this is quickly transferred to the entire workforce. But planned changes can also bring about climate change: For example, mergers of companies in which processes are reorganized and structures created. Employees from different cultures who suddenly pursue the same goals as colleagues and have to work together under one roof.
Often, growth is simply enough to change the climate in companies. What starts as a start-up and a small family can quickly transform into a large organization. Fluctuation increases, formal structures become necessary and an easy-going, family-like working atmosphere becomes an order that is necessary for business. In certain forms, both can mean a good working atmosphere. But employees who have valued the family atmosphere, perhaps for this reason have chosen their employer, will have to ask themselves whether they are happy with the new structures. On the other hand, such employees apply for whom order and structure may be important.
Bosses are the gods of weather in the working atmosphere
Managers are real role models when they take their role seriously. Unfortunately, what works in the good also works in the bad. Bad-tempered bosses can heavily contaminate the working atmosphere. What goes through your head when your boss enters his office in a bad mood in the morning? I know employees who wait for their superiors and first check the mood before going to work.
Everyone has a bad day. Quarrels at home, traffic jams on the way to work or just a glass of wine too much the night before at the party. Bosses are people too and can be in a bad mood. However, many bosses are not aware that their employees develop a good sense of this and not only base their behavior on it, but that their own mood – good and bad – is also quickly transferred to the whole team.
Here I had already written about the topic of working atmosphere in connection with emotions in the company and emphasized the high importance of the role model function of the top management and its management team in my view. If you have a bad day as a boss, you should either explain this to your employees and actively counter the uncertainty and the floor radio, or act in such a way that these emotions remain behind your own office door.
Catfight or real friendship among colleagues? Your decision!
You will hardly believe it as an employee, but how and with whom you spend your working time is up to you. And it is up to you to decide whether you want to play in a catfight, stay out of it, or even make your colleagues rethink. Even a ‘ colleague pig ‘ in the team is only as long as he has his stage and the audience and receives the necessary applause from his followers.
You may also know this from meetings. There are people who are known to influence the mood of the team. They stink out of routine or deliberately pee on the colleague’s leg. And of course, the other case also applies: people who, with their positive attitude and charisma, often only create a good climate through their presence. Colleagues who are helpful at all times and who are always ready to listen. Real friendships in the circle of colleagues that give support and any tension in the environment can be dissolved in the air.
What attitude do you as a boss and employee use to create a good working atmosphere:
The working atmosphere is neither a matter of chance nor of God. Everyone in a company can and is responsible for contributing to a good working atmosphere. In my view, it is more the right individual attitude as a boss and also as a team member that leads to a good and sustainable working atmosphere:
The attitude as boss for a good working atmosphere:
- Show real interest in your employees, listen to them consciously and actively.
- See yourself as an integral part of the team, but don’t be the best buddy.
- Get to know the values, motives and goals of your employees and lead accordingly.
- Take responsibility and establish self-responsibility as an attitude in the team.
- Live consciously and consistently what you expect from your employees.
- Create clarity through open and active communication.
- Give active and prompt feedback, appreciate performance, celebrate team success.
- Act as a mouthpiece upwards, stand up for the concerns of your employees.
- Encourage activities outside of day-to-day business – but without peer pressure.
- Give your employees the freedom to make decisions, but still be present.
The attitude as a team member for a good working atmosphere:
- Question other opinions instead of rashly judging them.
- Try to understand the values and worldviews and thus the way of thinking of your colleagues.
- Make yourself aware of the strengths you can personally bring to the team.
- Communicate early in the event of problems, fears or mistakes and create clarity.
- Avoid justifications or blame, think in terms of solutions.
- Be there for your colleagues, actively offer support without counting up.
- Spend free time or breaks with your colleagues if it is good for you.
- Design your own workplace so that you feel comfortable.
- Take responsibility for your thoughts and actions.
- See yourself as part of the team. We go ahead of me.
Is your working time valuable life time today?
If you have read this once again very long post up to here, then it is your turn now 🙂 Below in the comments or – even better – tomorrow in the office: Which working atmosphere prevails in your company and by whom or by whom do you think , is it mainly shaped? What does the working atmosphere mean for you personally and your working hours? What is your opinion, what you can contribute to a better working atmosphere from now on – and do you want that at all? Will you change your attitude and behavior? And if you come to the conclusion that you would like to live your working time differently, what can be a first step in this direction? I am looking forward to your comments.
(Photo credit: 123rf.com, 35017206, Denis Ismagilov)
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