Sometimes you join a small business or an organization where you meet toxic culture and bad employees. You are not satisfied with it. So you decide to create positive change in the workplace.
If that is the case with you, creating permanent change will be very hectic.
You will become a monster in some stories, but ultimately you will win with the nine-step strategy discussed below.
Before we proceed to the practical nine-steps strategy to create positive change in the workplace, here are some research-based techniques to handle toxic employees.
- How to manage disobedient employees
- How to handle difficult employees not working
- Action plan for nonperforming employees
- How to make employees loyal
- Learn strategies to resolve conflicts
Once you know how to handle bad, underperforming, and nonperforming employees, you can create a positive change in the workplace.
Monitor everything in the workplace
Once you join a startup, organization, or any small business, the best attitude is to keep silent. You should first see what’s happening, what’s causing employees to be unproductive, or what areas don’t align with your working style.
Even if employees are doing a great job, the wisest thing is to keep silent. There are plenty of benefits of being silent earlier. The best one is that you will sooner see an accurate picture of the work environment.
If you see something terrible, you start shouting in the very early days; you will never see the real face. Employees will start hiding things and be diplomatic. It will become harder to diagnose whom to trust. And why things are not working.
So, instead of being rude, be very kind and observe the environment.
Once you find the root causes hindering employees from becoming productive or obeying rules, the best scenario is to determine why those causes exist in the workplace. It will magically help you bring positive change.
At this point, different people have different styles.
We have found two techniques that work for all managers and leaders.
One is straightforward and quick, but the change is temporary and dies once you leave the place. The second is hard and permanent.
- Here is a short method to bring a quick change in the workplace. Call a meeting. Tell employees what they are doing. Tell them what exactly you want them to do. Otherwise, they will suffer the consequences. Employees will follow you to survive their jobs.
- Here is the second long process to bring a long-lasting change in the workplace. This is a drip-feed method where you notice what people do and how to convince them not to do it. This process has nine steps that we have discussed here.
So it’s up to you if you adopt a quick, less painful technique to bring a temporary change in the workplace. Or take responsibility for getting a long-lasting change with this nine steps process.
The second method includes one-on-one meetings, brainwashing, giving them new ethics, and convincing them to respect the system.
Here is the second step of the strategy.
Make notes on what needs to improve.
Great managers and leaders use diaries.
Whatever you see, you should note it down in your diary.
It will teach you many lessons over time. Let’s say you might change your approach towards many attitudes. You might take a few things tolerable or less harmful.
Let’s say I have learned that a true leader has a big heart. You can’t win hearts if you don’t compromise on a few things. It’s a give-and-take process.
Over a couple of weeks or months, when you find what’s happening in the workplace and what you should change, you can easily prioritize if you have written stuff.
Here is how to prioritize destructive behaviors in the next step.
Prioritize things to change
Prioritizing things has many benefits. The most significant advantage is that it makes things easy.
Here are the two scenarios where you will realize the benefits of prioritizing things.
For instance, there were problems A, B, C, D, and F.
You notice that if you could convince employees to adopt C in their routine, F will automatically resolve.
When you prioritize things, you will also realize which things are completely unacceptable at the workplace. Once you start facilitating change, you can start with your top priorities.
Be a role model
As I said, the first step is to be silent and open to seeing anything. It doesn’t imply you should join the bad employees’ team.
A leader or a manager always keeps a distance. That distance starts with your character and attitude.
Being a leader, it’s your responsibility to be an ideal personality in the office.
And it’s not for no reason.
Once you start creating a positive change and ask people to adopt the values and rules of the company, they will look at you. They will try hard to find all the areas where you don’t follow the rules.
If you had been a role model, it would make them realize that your stance is correct. It will open a door in their hearts to accept the change.
It’s a fact that being a role model is a very tough job. But it’s the responsibility of managers and leaders.
Plan the process to change
Once you have complete data on what areas need improvement, the next step is to plan how you can bring that change.
Planning is important.
Here is why.
Every employee has a different approach. You can’t treat all of them with one tool.
For instance, when handling difficult employees, diplomatic behaviors work well. You can be diplomatic with every employee and use a different tool for each employee.
So you should see what processes will work to bring the changes.
Start bringing change slowly.
You have sharpened the saw, and everything is ready.
But here, you should not be in a hurry.
As I said earlier, bringing permanent change is a drip-feed process. You can’t do it overnight unless you be a rude and harsh manager.
It took me three months to completely change a bad working environment.
So always remind yourself of the time you have set to bring changes. It can be a month or quarter, depending on negative attitudes.
Start calling meetings, and tell them slowly what you want them to do. Remind them that you all are paid to obey the company’s rules.
Make things look easy and valuable.
Once you call meetings, be gentle and kind.
You should start with yourself and tell them you are paid for some duties, as it’s your job to drive growth and make the business/organization more successful. You have some ideas on how they can work better.
The first step is to induce some dopamine in their body by telling them what great things they are doing.
Now, it’s time to come to the real point.
Tell your employees the highly unacceptable behaviors you have noticed and that you want them to change.
Being a true leader, it’s wise to tell them why it’s important to change it.
For instance, you can tell employees that this specific behavior is wasting this amount of time for no reason. The business/organization will get these benefits if they change their behavior. The graph will improve, and it will take nothing extra from them.
Once you portray a clear picture, it will significantly impact the employees.
The first meeting might not get you the best results.
But this is also part of the process.
Difficult employees don’t take things seriously with such easy conversations. To make them realize you are serious about the matter. You move to the next step.
Follow up on the process.
If you call a meeting, order something, and don’t monitor the progress, you have wasted time on the meeting.
If you are serious about implementing your ideas, don’t sit until it’s done.
Nothing is done without a follow-up. And when it comes to changing a negative work environment, it’s even more important to schedule follow-ups.
If you keep your eyes open and schedule everything to monitor. Nothing can stop you from creating a positive change in the workplace.
Keep a record of everything.
The last critical step of this foolproof process always works for me.
Once you keep a record of everything in the process, it will make employees realize that you can use this record later to punish them for not following the orders.
This will signal their minds to follow you, or one day they will suffer. I believe no one wants to suffer intentionally.
So if you follow the nine steps process, you can create a positive change in the workplace without being harsh or rude.
If you have a different technique to create a positive change that worked for you in your company/organization/business, you can share it with us in the comments.