The Value of “Being Nice”
Let’s define some common ground around the word “nice,” especially in the workplace. I believe that niceness is a huge motivator for employees. The thing is, you have to know what “nice” equates to for each employee, because remember, you are a great manager, and great managers motivate employees individually.
So let’s take a quick look at what you need to do to be “nice” to employees. First and foremost, you can’t be authentically nice to an employee if you don’t know what’s going on in his or her world. To know that, you have to actually talk to them. That’s why we consistently encourage managers to have frequent one-on-one meetings with employees. Not only can you monitor work progress, but you also keep tabs on your employee’s well-being. You learn what is important to them and what they value. You can gauge whether they are doing work that is important to them and achieving things that fulfill their values. If you are listening to employees and supporting their values, you can score huge “nice” points.
Do your employees consider that where they work is a “nice” place? You know that means different things to different folks. In those regular one-on-one conversations you are having, you should make it a point to learn what working in a “nice” workplace means to each employee. For example, some people will consider the place they work nice if they are paid well. For others, a nice work place is one that allows them to achieve, to move up the ladder. For some, it will be all about the experience of their physical space. And for still others, it is going to be about whether they have the opportunity to do research and solve problems, or they are allowed to be giving and helpful, even outside their own specified tasks. What does that mean to you?
It’s all about what they value. If you, as a manager, or as an organization, are not acknowledging and supporting their values, they won’t see you as “nice.” If that’s the case, they likely aren’t going to work for you very well, or very long.
Our 12 Driving Forces™ tool helps managers identify what their employees value, what drives them. We use it with teams to help build engagement.