How Productivity is Increased by Small Positive Gestures – Part Two
In our last blog we looked at why small gestures can lead to big increases in productivity in the workplace. Here are some more pointers that will help you improve not only your own work experience, but those around you.
For the managers reading this, you may be ingrained with the idea that ‘everyone is replaceable’. But a big part of feeling valued occurs when employees are aware that they add something to the company that no one else can.
To effectively convey this, think about how you approach everyday conversations with your employees. When you assign a new task, for example, go beyond the basic, ‘Here are today’s tasks’, and reiterate why you truly value someone’s work: ‘You did a great job designing that website last week. We have a new client who seems pretty picky, and since your work is so detail-oriented, I think you’re the only one for the job’.
Or, as you start giving people more challenging work, clearly acknowledge what you’re doing and why: ‘You really nailed your presentation during the team meeting last week, so I think you can handle a monthly client presentation with some of our big accounts’. The more you recognise your employees’ specific contributions to the team, the more irreplaceable they’ll feel.
There’s a lot to be said for positive body language. Whether you are speaking or listening, looking into the eyes of the person with whom you are conversing can make the interaction more successful. Eye contact conveys interest and encourages your partner to be interested in you in return. It’s something else we’ve lost the art of in this technological age. Be in the moment. A tip when on Zoom calls is to try and look into the camera lens, not the screen. It’s quite hard to train yourself to do this, but next time you make a Zoom call, notice how the person on screen is actually looking at a point just above your head as opposed to right at you. Think how much more meaningful it will be in future, if you can learn to appear to be looking directly at your audience.
Also, body language can say so much more than a mouthful of words. An open stance with arms relaxed at your sides tells anyone around you that you are approachable and open to hearing what they have to say.
Use gestures. These include gestures with your hands and face. Make your whole body talk. Use smaller gestures for individuals and small groups. The gestures should get larger as the group you are addressing increases in size. Zoom makes no difference to this so give it a try.
With face-to-face interactions, pay attention to how close you are to another person. Some people feel very comfortable with physical closeness, while others may be offended when people get too close. Many cultures also place limitations on physical closeness. If you sense that someone feels uncomfortable, put a little more space between you.
You need to manifest constructive attitudes and beliefs in the workplace. The attitudes you bring to communication will have a huge impact on the way you compose yourself and interact with others. Choose to be honest, patient, optimistic, sincere, respectful, and accepting of others. Be the trendsetter of small gestures and make your workplace what you want it to be.
Finally, remember to say ‘Sorry’, ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’. Nothing new here – just a friendly reminder to say the words that get used a lot, but never enough. Although mastering these habits to perfection is impossible, practising them one step at a time goes a long way.