Every business needs to stay on course in order to succeed, and the only way to stay on that course is to develop a positive and consistent work ethic and to maintain a strong sense of discipline.
As a business leader, you probably understand just how hard it can be to create an environment of discipline. On the one hand, you want to encourage your workers to be disciplined and to always take care of their tasks with the diligence they deserve. However, on the other, you don’t want to come across as a draconian and demanding employer who is too strict to even breathe around.
There is a delicate balancing act to be maintained here, and we’ll look at some valuable tips that will help you maintain that balance. Here are eight ways you can create a better environment of self-discipline around the workplace.
1. Lead from the front
As the business owner, you are the head of the workplace, and so it is only proper that you lead in whatever you would like your workforce to do. Many people hesitate to be leaders in their own workplaces because they think the office will somehow organically sort itself out. However, employees don’t want to be left to figure everything out on their own. They need some kind of leadership, whether they are a team of professional essay writers or software engineers, and it needs to be strong.
Being a leader doesn’t mean you should tell people what to do all the time or shout at them. Instead, you should encourage them to work and achieve the full potential that they could possibly achieve. It’s about giving them guidance when they reach a stumbling block and they are not quite sure what the way forward is. As a leader, you are meant to resolve disputes among your employees while gently pulling them all in the same direction.
2. Get rid of distractions
Sometimes, the cause of indiscipline in the workplace is simply a lack of focus. People are getting distracted and it is hindering them from placing their focus on what matters. As a leader, you should endeavor to remove anything in the workplace that will prove to be a detrimental distraction to work.
These distractions could be anything, really. It could have to do with technology, and the employees getting hooked on their devices, or it could have to do with the layout of the office.
Take social media, for example. It can be a serious attention sucker, getting people distracted so that they end up doing none of the meaningful work that they are actually meant to do.
Again, there is a balancing act here. Banning social media sites altogether may be a good idea in some extreme circumstances, but it isn’t the only viable solution. Try to talk to your employees and find out what policies would work best with them to reduce distraction. If blocking social media sites helps, and they seem enthusiastic about the idea, then you can definitely try it. If not, then you can explore options together.
3. Create a pleasant working environment
Once you’ve removed the distractions from the working environment, the next step is to improve it so it becomes a place where people love to work in every day, rather than hate. You want your employees looking forward to arriving at work every day, and for them to feel energized when they get to the workplace.
If whenever your employees walk into the office they feel like they would rather be someplace else, you can bet their productivity levels will be abysmally low. It will be very hard to foster discipline in such an environment. To change that, consider changing the environment in the office in a way that brightens it up.
You could, for example, encourage more teamwork and collaboration in the office so people find work more fun. It may seem like something small, but it could have a significant positive impact on the way your office operates. Whatever changes you make, ensure you include the employees in the process so you can get accurate feedback on what’s working and what’s not.
4. Consider the age demographics of your employees
Most business leaders rarely consider this when they’re thinking about their workforce. The kind of approach you would use to foster self-discipline in a young workforce is wildly different from what you might use on an older workforce. You need a custom approach that’s tailored to the specific demographics of your workforce.
You should consider the age and general personality of your workforce as you craft policies to foster discipline among them. Some employees respond better to a more relaxed approach full of gentle encouragement. Others need you to be firmer with your approach. The one thing you should avoid doing is applying a uniform approach to everyone.
5. Have clarity in your rules
If you want your rules to be followed by your workforce, then make them crystal clear. Figure out exactly what rules you want to be followed by your employees first. The fewer the rules the better. A few clear rules will always outperform millions of obscure ones.
The best thing is to be able to fit your rules on a single page. You can then print them out, laminate them, and display them in an open place for everyone to see.
6. Give everyone three strikes
You need to put consequences in place for those who don’t play by the rules. If there aren’t any consequences, nobody is going to take the rules seriously. Have a “three strikes” rule, where an employee will be given a certain number of warnings before disciplinary action is taken. This makes it clear to your employees where their limits lie, and they will think twice before they flippantly flout the rules.
7. Leave your employees alone
This may sound counter to what we’ve been talking about so far, but it works if done well. The last thing your employees want is to have someone breathing down their necks the whole time they’re at work. They will feel under pressure and won’t do any meaningful work. Give everyone space and independence they need to work efficiently, and you’ll be surprised at what they can achieve.
8. Communicate with your employees
Finally, don’t forget that the most important aspect of your relationship with your employees is one with open communication. Employees should feel like they can tell you anything, and that their concerns will be listened to.
Communication is very healthy in a business and should not be underestimated. It can actually make a difference to your bottom line. Make sure your employees are willing to listen to you, and that you’re willing to listen to them as well.
These tips should enable you to create an excellent working environment where discipline abounds. With time, the gains in discipline will translate into productivity gains that will find their way to your bottom line.
Isabell Gaylord is a professional content writer, offers dissertation writing services, and is a journalist based in Chicago in the US.