Light a Candle: How the Atmosphere Influences Your Working Process
Nov 1, 2022self-education
How the psychological climate in the team affects productivity
We spend most of our lives at work. What we do, who is around us, what attitudes and moods surround us – all this affects our level of happiness and productivity. What is the psychological climate in the team and is it really important?
A common situation that must be well-known to everyone: from the first minutes of an interview in a company, there was a feeling – this team is not suitable for me. Sometimes you don’t even need to talk to people to feel the atmosphere that reigns in the office.
Or you go into the office of your friends, where everything looks calm at the first glance, but you physically feel the lightning rushing in the air, or there is such silence – counterproductive and oppressive. Or another situation: in the morning you ran to work with joy, everything worked out and went according to plan, and after the appearance of a new leader or colleague, a lot has changed, mutual understanding and comfort have gradually disappeared somewhere…
Any person working in a team is sensitive to changes and the surrounding atmosphere. This atmosphere, mood, and relationships between people working side by side are cumulatively called the psychological climate. It depends on many factors, often seemingly insignificant and not obvious. At the same time, there are many techniques and life hacks everyone can do to improve their working process.
Life hacks to improve the working atmosphere
Although improving the psychological microclimate in a team is a systemic, long-term, and difficult process, several simple and even obvious tricks allow everyone to relatively quickly change the atmosphere in the team for the better:
- Set up a good communication process. Most problems in a team arise because people cannot or do not want to explain their position/decision/action to each other. A lot of problems are also caused by a misunderstanding of the common goal. Thus, the more feedback you give to your employees and colleagues and the better you establish channels of communication between team members, the less gossip and misunderstandings will arise. Accordingly, the more transparent and easier the relationship will be in the team.
- Add some humor. A happy and joyful team is a more productive team. Doubts should not arise. However, what could you do if the team is on the verge of failure? In this case, it is important to understand that everyone has failures. Everyone at least once released an unsuccessful product / presented a not very successful project / made the wrong decision. This is a natural process, often referred to as trial and failure, where people learn from mistakes. And it is important to approach any failure with both seriousness and humor at the same time. If you cheer up a colleague who has made a wrong decision with a smile or a good joke, then instead of getting upset, they will look for a way out of the problem.
- Focus on good results. The “carrot and stick” method is already beginning to be obsolete. Under fear of mistakes, focusing on achieving planned “good” indicators and preventing “bad” results, employees lose creativity, initiative, and confidence. The more often we focus on the positive results already achieved, the more employees sincerely believe in the final product/project/company. The more positive we are in a work process, the more loyal team members are to each other’s failures or mistakes.
- Establish a creative environment. This point is especially important if your work or the work of your team is quite monotonous and tedious. Arrange contests, and hold team-building events, quests, and outdoor activities outside the office. Come up with competitions between departments or teams, and encourage ideas, even if not the most brilliant ones. Let your team members be a little weird sometimes, allowing them to have fun and do stupid things.
- Set a flexible schedule. This does not mean that a manager needs to send all employees home, allowing them to go to the office only when they want. But it will be useful at least one day a week or a month when employees can afford to take a break from each other and work outside the office. This will not only improve the microclimate in the team, but also increase the productivity of each employee.
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