Never has it been more important to take a look at how your business establishes healthy expectations and boundaries for employees. This year, take time to implement new guidelines to improve work culture, streamline processes, and increase productivity amongst your team.
This year, take time to implement new guidelines to improve work culture, streamline processes, and increase productivity amongst your team. When you take the time to invest in your team, they’ll feel appreciated and cared for, which will, in turn, increase productivity and establish a positive work culture.
One of the best ways you can kick off the new year is to encourage your team to create healthy boundaries in the workplace.
Here’s why work boundaries are essential and some easy, tangible ways to set boundaries that will benefit everyone!
Why is it important for your team to set healthy boundaries in the workplace?
You can read about boundaries in any self-help book nowadays. There have to be boundaries for any relationship to flourish, whether family, romantic, or work-related.
Boundaries not only protect the one setting them, but it protects everyone else. More specifically, boundaries establish realistic goals and expectations for each team member in the workplace.
It decreases burnout, increases retention rates, encourages clear communication, and boosts company culture and morale.
While individual team members should set up their personal boundaries in the workplace, you can also implement some general boundaries for everyone.
What are healthy boundaries in the workplace?
There are different types of boundaries that you can set in your workplace. The specifics of each boundary will depend on your team and company culture.
Time boundaries are critical in the workplace. Your team is getting paid for their time, and you want to make sure that it’s not wasted.
As a leader in the workplace, you can set an example by showing up on time to meetings and respecting your team’s time outside of the office.
Some salary-paying jobs take advantage of their employees’ time by overworking them. A good policy is developing “core working hours,” which take your market and industry norms and adjust your team. And remember, if an employee is off work, try not to bother them with work-related issues.
When you set an example of this, your team will respect you and do the same for one another.
As people are returning to work in person again after COVID-19, it’s an optimal time to address physical boundaries in the workplace.
As a leader in the workplace, be sure to be conscious that everyone will have different opinions on how to deal with COVID-19 and different levels of comfort regarding returning to the office and proximity to people.
Encourage your team to treat one another with respect. It’s also important to communicate boundaries and levels of comfort.
Office rules such as staying six feet apart, using hand sanitizer, and your company’s mask policies have become standard protocol, but don’t forget to ask the team if there are other physical boundaries they would prefer.
When you think of your team and others instead of your own comfort, it will boost morale and increase respect among your team.
Work can be stressful. Your employees spend about 40 hours a week in the office. That leaves 128 hours for them to spend on other things outside of work.
A lot can happen in those 128 hours outside of work and the 40 hours at work.
Emotional boundaries can take the form of time management, delegating tasks, and simply communicating emotions.
Empower your employees to set these boundaries for themselves. Encourage your leaders in the workplace to delegate tasks when they need to.
When the team comes together to support one another, it builds trust, respect, and creates deeper relationships.
How do you help your team set healthy boundaries?
Now that you know the different categories of boundaries and what they are, how do you successfully implement these boundaries in the workplace?
Remember, every business is different, and every company culture is different. Instead of setting boundaries for the sake of setting boundaries, really put time and thought into this.
When you take the time to implement boundaries, you can transform your company culture. When you don’t take the time to think about the boundaries you are enforcing, you run the risk of damaging your company culture.
Here are some significant, meaningful boundaries you can set for yourself and empower your team to do the same:
Set clear time limits.
If you can, leave work at 5 p.m. every day and turn off all work notifications. Use that time to rest, recharge, and spend time with friends and family.
Your team is looking to you to set the boundaries. Don’t contact them about work outside of work. This is a great way to demonstrate that you value your team’s time and efforts.
If a team member feels stressed or overwhelmed due to a crazy workload or is experiencing a family emergency at home, encourage them to delegate their tasks.
When your team comes together to support one another during difficult times, it will transform your company culture.
Be sure to delegate tasks to the right people who have the capacity to help and do the job well.
Say no if needed.
Employees often become overwhelmed when they say yes to tasks they don’t have time to complete.
Mindless delegation hurts your team’s efficiency and adds stress when team members take on more than they can handle. Instead, encourage your team to assess their current workload before committing to helping with other tasks.
While saying no can be scary, setting that boundary and communicating priorities will help your business and team in the long run.
Develop a system.
David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, suggests creating a system to sort through your current tasks. You can encourage your team to do the same thing.
According to the book, there are four categories to sort your tasks into:
- Do it
- Defer it
- Delegate it
- Drop it
Once you have looked at your tasks, you can prioritize what needs to get done and collaborate with your team on tasks you need help with.
Encourage your team to clearly communicate.
If someone feels overwhelmed, whether it’s their workload or personal events, encourage your team to engage with you and each other.
Clear communication is not only best for the individuals, but it’s best for your team and your company.
How CCA Can Help
It’s never too late or too early to prioritize caring for your employees by encouraging them to set healthy boundaries in the workplace. It will transform your company culture, increase productivity, and boost employee retention rates.
At Corporate Chaplains of America, we work with businesses nationwide to provide teams in the workplace with the support they need to get through life’s ups and downs.
When you invest in professional and emotional support for your employees, you show that you care for them as human beings, not simply as employees.
At CCA, our team is dedicated to you and your team. Your chaplain is a trusted confidant that your team can go to no matter what.
Our chaplains are available 24/7 for you and your team. When your employees have someone to talk to, it can make an unsteady time seem a little steadier. Your team needs that support, and our team can be that for them. Contact Corporate Chaplains of America today to learn how to support your team as you seek to grow a thriving, healthy work culture for your team.