In a special section about leadership in The Wall Street Journal this week, HR execs were asked: What’s your biggest challenge? The second response behind attracting technical talent was controlling your brand – or managing a company’s image.
When thinking about a company’s image, what usually comes to mind first for me is what an organization does to build its public profile and reputation. But equally important – and intriguing – is how we create and cultivate our internal brand/image among our teammates.
Especially when deadlines and deliverables are an ongoing reality, it can be easy to overlook the importance of nurturing colleagues and creating good workplace karma – which greatly impacts an organization’s brand energy.
Even in workplaces where positive morale is a hallmark, what can you do as an individual and/or a manager to consciously create and reinforce good moods – which promote good work and better business? Here are a few thoughts…
Do’s and Don’ts
Recognize that occasional bad moods are unavoidable and crop up for everyone. Label a bad mood for what it is and actively work to “reset” and minimize it – for yourself as well as the negative effect you may have on people around you.
It all depends on your attitude; change your attitude and it changes your day.
Develop your own “intentional transition” strategy and perform an active intervention on yourself. In other words, find a way to snap out of it. Don’t wallow in it and poison your day – or beyond. Don’t underestimate that small interventions can have major effects:
- Take a few minutes for a cup of coffee.
- Listen to some favorite music.
- Read something that’s inspirational.
- Do some kind of exercise for a short break. Go outside and breathe deeply or take a brisk walk to provide oxygen to your brain. The adrenaline will boost your mood and your clarity.
- Write down what’s bothering you. Once on paper, it’s usually easier to find a solution to the situation. Surprisingly, if you look at something objectively on paper it’s often not as serious as you thought it was.
- Ask yourself: Are things really that bad? If they are, what can you do to deal with it or get help? Don’t perpetuate your mood by getting stuck in an endless cycle of negative thought. Try to figure out a plan which will make you feel better even if you can’t implement it right away.
- Smile: As basic as this sounds, research shows that the act of smiling makes people feel better and boosts moods.
- (Eat some dark chocolate – don’t go crazy but it is medically proven that dark chocolate acts as a natural mood elevator.)
On a larger scale, managers can boost moods and morale among staff by providing a compelling purpose. People want to feel like they are a part of something bigger and more important than their tasks. Talk about the purpose of your work – what you do and why you do it.
Provide challenges: People want to strive toward something important. They need challenging goals and a plan that shows how they can work to achieve those goals.
Outline clear roles and responsibilities: Employees need to know what they’re responsible for individually and what others expect of them. They want to see the link between their work and the team’s overall purpose to feel valued and valuable. With clarity about what they do, and clear feedback about how they’re doing, they can take better control of their work, which can be a powerful source of satisfaction and positive rapport.
Every organization’s brand – externally and internally – is all about who we are and the atmosphere we create – which greatly impacts what we do.