I came across this quote below recently and it got me thinking. I’ve also seen the picture of a beautiful flower that could bloom in an environment one would not expect it to grow in. I think my perception of life in general is much like the latter, that, regardless of your circumstances, you can flourish if you really want to. I do however think that there are some exceptions, just as I also strongly believe that Great Leaders create healthy working environments.

Great Leaders Create Healthy Working Environments - PeanutGallery247

I think we as society as a whole, often see a problem and want to fix it, very often, not taking into consideration the circumstances around that issue…like the environment. We get so fixated on fixing the problem, without looking at other influences. This quote triggered such thoughts and allow me to elaborate further…in the context of Leadership.

If we want to unleash the full potential of any employee, the environment in which the employee is in, is key to his/her success. A great leader therefore knows and understands the intricacies required for an employee to perform to his/her optimum level.

If an employee is feeling unappreciated, unrecognised and unstable, this can and will cause the employee to feel disengaged and demotivated and this will inevitably have an adverse effect on the productivity of this individual.

The obvious route to addressing these issues, is to coach, mentor and guide the employee towards achieving his or her goals. The less obvious and more likely probability is the environment in which the employee works in. Let’s have a look at some of those:

Open Plan Office

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Whilst some open plan offices may cause some employees to be more productive and build team spirit, for others, it can be extremely disruptive, often causing distractions, to the extent that it leads to less productive individuals.

A great leader will notice the hinderance if any, and do something about it, to create an environment that is conducive to productivity.

Related Post: Open Plan Office Etiquette

Lack of Flexible Working Hours

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Being at your desk from 8-5 doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re productive. There are some individuals who are more productive outside of these hours and the more you push them to conform to these hours, the less productive they will be. It’s not always by choice, it’s just the way that it is.

Not all companies CAN allow flexible working solutions due to the nature of the business but where this is possible, one should certainly consider looking at flexible working hours and monitor the productivity levels. Get stuck in 2 hours of traffic in the morning and then again in the afternoon – opposed to using that time productively working from home? You do the math.

A great leader will respect the maturity of the individual and trust that the work will get done and look at the end result and not focus on where or when it was done, what’s important is the quality of the work and the completion within the deadlines.

Autocratic Environment

If employees feel as if they can’t express their views or that they’re opinions are not taken seriously, they will not feel valued. There will be a lack of communication, no sense of connection. This will surely want to make them leave as employees want to feel involved and they want to be able to contribute.

A great leader will create an environment where employees are comfortable to share their views and opinions. A great leader will create an environment in which people will want to belong.

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Lack of Recognition/Appreciation

Employees want and yearn for that pat on the back, they want to know that they add value and that their efforts are appreciated. Do they get recognised and rewarded for their Leadership and/or Creative skills or does it get used against them? In the sense that people abuse their skill because “they’re good at it”, but no actual appreciation is given…instead, they get extra work with no reward.

If this is the case, such individuals will want to leave the company. A great leader will find a way to retain them and in doing so, will find ways to appreciate, recognise and reward the employee.

Being a great leader isn’t just about doing the right things but also and perhaps more importantly, doing the right things for the right reasons.

Leader A:

I need you to leave at 5pm daily. If you leave early, then other people will question it and I’ll have to answer.

Leader B:

As long as your work is done, I am happy if you have to leave early sometimes to fetch your child from school. I know that you sometimes continue working from home, so I don’t have any issues with that.

Which employee do you think is more at ease and will be more productive as a result?

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I just think that sometimes not even the people who practice certain rules know why they were put there in the first place. I’m not saying rules are not important, of course they are, because consistency is also important. Who says you can’t make new rules, or adjust the current rules? Focus on doing the right things for the right reasons, otherwise it becomes meaningless.

With that being said, if the environment you’re in, is stifling your growth, prohibiting you from blooming and not offering you the fertile soil for your soul, it is necessary for you to change your environment and rid yourself from those things. There is nothing worse than the feeling of being confined, when you have so much to give but can’t. You CAN…if you change your Environment. Don’t Congregate where the soil isn’t fertile.


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2 Replies to “Great Leaders Create Healthy Working Environments”

  1. I really enjoyed this article and I can so relate. I really struggle to work in an environment with a lot of distraction and if you need to have an open plan office, it would be great to have an employer who allows you to work from home on occasion.

    1. Hi Jonelle. Thanks for stopping by and for your valued feedback. That struggle sure is real indeed…

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