You have to cultivate niceness in your employees through planned, proactive actions until you create an environment where everyone is genuinely and consistently respectful towards each other.
1. There’s a “pleaser” mentality.
When there is a pleaser mentality people want to do nice things for one another just to be nice. Everyone is consistently polite and exhibits excellent manners that are used to please those around them. You will here the phrases “excuse me”, “please”, and “Can I help” often.
2. Relationships are personalized.
People engage each other as real people rather than just as job responsibilities and feel real empathy for each other. Feeling empathy results in:
Personalizing relationships requires figuring out whats important to everyone and how they feel and then thinking of ways to communicate that you care. You need to know your people. What makes them feel appreciated? Are they married? names and ages of children, pets, favorite vacation spots, hobbies, preferred drink, personal and professional goals, learning and enjoyment goals etc.
Personalize the relationship by taking a personal interest. During face to face encounters the first minute and last minute should be personal.
3. There is humility.
In an environment were humility is present people don’t pretend they know it all and everyone works together to help each other succeed. When there is humility everyone is encouraged to feel as equal as possible.
It is a function of leadership to manage the niceness culture. If someone is crossing the line and being nasty/ugly its time to quietly and privately talk to them about it. If someone is a great person they can usually acquire great skills through education but its rare that someone can transform from a nasty person to a nice person.
In Hug Your People
Jack Mitchell states “You cannot possibly deliver great service if you don’t treat your own associates right.” And then he sets out how you as a leader can go about doing this by building a niceness culture.
Some simple but sometimes neglected or forgotten things he mentions are:
- Everyone wants to be appreciated!
- People are our most important asset.
- SMILE at your people often!
- Treat your people like family.
He then gives us his 5 principles to have happy people:
Be NICE to them, TRUST them, instill PRIDE in them, INCLUDE them and generously RECOGNIZE them.
Hug Your People: The Proven Way to Hire, Inspire, and Recognize Your Employees and Achieve Remarkable Results
The main way nourishers help inner work life is by making the work more meaningful which is am important element of the progress principle.
When we are about the people we work with we want to succeed for them. When our colleagues become a kind of family to us, work can take on new meaning in our lives which inspires us to go the extra mile for the team which results in greater creativity and productivity.
The Four Major Nourishers are:
1. Respect – How Management acts plays a large part in whether employees feel respected or not. Recognition is the most important of these actions. People feel respected when their efforts are acknowledged. Respect is also shown when managers give employees ideas serious attention. Dealing with people honestly also shows respect. And finally basic civility signifies respect.
2. Encouragement – Encouraging people can nourish their inner work lives in a couple of ways. The enthusiasm of leaders can help to improve employee’s motivation, especially when this enthusiasm includes statements about the importance of the work. Second, when management shows they believe that their people can do a good job.
3. Emotional Support – People feel more connected to others at work when their emotions are validated. Managers can help to alleviate the negative and increase the effect of the positive simply by acknowledging. Managers who empathize can have an even more powerful effect on the inner work life of their team.
4. Affiliation – This occurs when team members are able to develop bonds of trust and appreciation with each other. Leaders can help these bonds develop by providing opportunities for people to spend time face to face with their colleagues and finding ways for them to have fun together.
Importantly it’s not enough for you as the leader to give your team nourishment you also need to establish a culture within the group were team members also nourish each other.
The third major influence on Inner Work life is the Nourishment Factor along with the Progress Principle and the Catalyst Factor.
You nourish a persons inner work life by recognizing good work, providing encouragement or offering emotional support. You might also engage in conflict resolution, facilitate people getting to know each other or simply let them have some fun.
All of these things lead to team members experiencing positive emotions such as joy, pride and happiness. They then become motivated to contribute to something wonderful. Over time the positive inner work life responses lead to superior performance.