How to Cultivate Change and Inspire Improvement in The Workspace

By Sean Gordon

Have you ever experienced a moment in your work environment where you just wanted to get up and leave? Have you ever felt overwhelmed and under-qualified to be in a position of leading a team? Have you attempted to shift the working environment for your team, but feel as though you are hitting a brick wall?

If you answered yes to one of these, the honest truth is that you are not alone. Sixty-two percent of managers believe they aren’t doing a good job meeting learners’ needs.

Transforming your workspace can seem impossible at times, but we have curated five characteristics that will effectively allow you to cultivate change and inspire improvement within the workspace.

1. Communicate your motivations clearly.

Has there ever been a situation where you were expected to complete a task, but were unable to accomplish it accurately because the expectations were not clearly defined? This can be a very frustrating situation to be in. It often leaves you feeling discouraged in your task.

A pivotal step in redefining your workplace is to avoid mistakes by establishing clear expectations and ensuring that they are clearly communicated. A few key tips in ensuring this in the workplace include:  

  • Providing project details that are vital for your employees.
  • Provide clear deadlines that are not easily misunderstood or overlooked. A great way to do this is by sending a shared calendar reminder to those involved on the project.
  • Be transparent about your ability to provide feedback during the project. If you are aware that you will not be available as a resource, provide your employee with that information so that they are able to request help from other resources.

Also, it is important to ensure that your entire company is on the same page about what message you are displaying to your consumer. What kind of brand are you hoping to display to your employees? Is that brand cohesive with what your consumers see? If not, where in the messaging process is there a disconnect? It is vital that your message is cohesive internally and externally.

2. Embody authenticity.

Have you ever purchased a product and been disappointed with it once you realized the value wasn’t what you expected it to be? Creating an authentic expectation of your product and services is vital for creating a solid brand image that embodies your core values.

Stop to ask yourself a few pressing questions:

  • “Do I lead with our core values in mind?”
  • “Do I fully understand what our brand represents and how it is displayed to consumers and employees?”
  • “Are my efforts and intentions projecting who we are as a company and are they sustainable for our brand?”

Being authentic doesn’t mean you have to post every day and rack up 100,000 likes. It just requires you to deliver a consistent, compelling identity at every touchpoint that will get consumers talking.” – AdAge

3. Maintain a Leadership Mindset.

Curate a space where everyone is able to own their role. This creates a leadership mentality within each individual in your workplace. When team members feel empowered and that their voice is heard, they are more motivated to get work done efficiently and effectively. Does this mean that everyone gets a plush corner office and a fancy title? …not quite. Rather it suggests that each individual takes on the responsibility of being an active learner and strives for personal growth in their skill sets that enables them to be better performers at their job. Fundamental leadership principles can be applied to their daily work style so that each team member feels that they are a valuable contributor to your company.

4. Celebrate the Wins…Quickly.

Drastic changes in your work environment can be overwhelming for you and your employees. What do you do in your workspace when you have identified a major pain-point, but struggle to identify the proper solution that alleviates the pain point? Often we get overwhelmed and frustrated when we feel unable to alleviate a problem. Instead, we can celebrate wins quickly, simply by identifying small tangible steps that are helpful and effective. This could be a simple as having meetings to hear the concerns of your employees and creating tangible solutions to their issues. It could include creating SCRUM boards that better layout the order in which task needs to be completed. When pain points are identified, it is best to start with small everyday steps that can be implemented to change a rhythm. Changing a rhythm is a lot less intimidating than changing an entire structure. Start small. Celebrate each small win, and overtime you will see organizational change on a larger scale.

5. Foster a Workspace that Reflects Your Brand.

Do you sometimes feel like cabin fever is upon you after a long day of being tucked away in your office space? Many studies have examined the correlation between workplace atmosphere and motivation levels of its employees. Close-knit cubicles often can feel isolating and unwelcoming. Isolation is a fast-track way to decrease motivation in a workspace.

A key question to ask when desiring change within your workspace is ‘Does our work environment reflect our brand?’ ‘Is the image that you are displaying externally also cohesive with your internal workspace?’ If not, here are a few tips for creating a workspace that reflects your brand.

  • Colors and Finishes – What brand colors do you want to reflect? Are these seen within your office space?
  • Furniture – Collaborative workspaces are HUGE in workspaces today. Is collaboration something that your brand desires to express, and if so, what furniture pieces allow your employees to gather and collaboratively work together?
  • Layout and Design – What is the style of your brand? Modern? Traditional? Contemporary? Rustic? Innovative? Is your brand well-reflected in your office space layout and design?
  • Messaging – Are you a values-based company? Are your values displayed throughout your company? What messages do you want your employees and visitors to see?

Each of these characteristics will allow you to take small strides that curate big change within your work environment.

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