Green park space with a yellow diamond shaped sign with the words 'safe place'

5 ways to create a safe environment for your team to thrive

Because it’s more harmonious, fun and effective when they do.

A manager shared their frustrations with me recently during a coaching session. They described staff who seemed to lack the confidence to make decisions or assume responsibility. Some were anxious in meetings, leaving projects unfinished and others performing inconsistently at best. There was an apparent dependence on the leaders and managers, with staff deferring responsibility or apportioning blame.

The manager was sick of the general tone within the work environment. They were frustrated to be constantly dispensing negative feedback and were now micromanaging with tight controls.

Is it any wonder under these conditions that the manager felt exhausted?

If your staff are not engaging and performing to expectations and don’t seem aligned to your goals as a leader, here are 5 ways to create a safer environment, shifting the team’s morale and mindset so that they want to thrive. 

Challenge: Start by believing in the potential of your staff. Challenge your team to reach goals and take chances. Accept ideas and be open to different perspectives. Encourage staff to challenge themselves and each other.

Support: Build rapport and trust with your staff. If you are encouraging a challenging mindset, then be prepared to back them. Show them that failure is OK & can be a powerful tool for learning how to advance further. 

Empower: Ask for ideas, encourage staff to reach their own decisions, empower them to create processes that work and show trust in their choices.

Direction: Provide boundaries, resources and tools for success. Set up a comfortable environment that allows for growth and progress. 

Exploration: Avoid micro-managing and in particular don’t punish failure. If you encourage exploration, it may result in surprising journeys and outcomes. Listen and observe to identify strengths and to allow input from others.

Your own attitude will be infectious.

Use the tools above to create a fun, engaged, open learning environment, open to challenge, and watch your team thrive.

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