Creating “Your I.D.E.A.L. Small Business Work Environment” – Step 1

Skip Weisman, faciliating the IDEAL Work Environment System in a client meeting

Step 1 in the I.D.E.A.L. Work Environment System is the “I,” which is to “IDENTIFY” the characteristics and traits of it, along with the behaviors people in the environment need to exhibit in it.

It’s a very simple, and positively focused, first step with two parts. (If you’d like to read the original article with the complete overview of the concept of Your I.D.E.A.L. Work Environment, go here to read the article titled, “Does the IDEAL Small Business Work Environment Exist?)

This first step sets the tone for a successful initiative. And, an AMAZING thing happens in this first step.Skip Weisman, faciliating the IDEAL Work Environment System in a client meeting

EVERYONE pretty much agrees on the characteristics and behaviors they would like people to exhibit in the environment they would like to work in.

This is because…

This occurs regardless of the individual, their role, and their status in the company (by that I mean whether they are perceived as a positive or negative force, or whether they own the firm or are a frontline employee).

What’s great about that?

It provides everyone with a great starting point to create their “ideal work environment.”

Don’t you think that’s great?

I mean, they just defined it for themselves?

What a great place to start!

Now, to be honest, not everyone says the same things, exactly the same way, but the intent is in the right place for all comments. So they are easy to refine.

When you bring everyone together for this process everyone sees the commonalities and you build from there.

Additionally, and maybe best thing, is that the desired characteristics and behaviors are all positively framed.

No one can argue with them.

It’s like, “who doesn’t want that to be part of our work environment?”

Here are some my most recent client settled on:

  • People bring the best of themselves to work every day.
  • People seek new opportunities to be more productive.
  • People agree to be open to constructive, respectful feedback so they can become even better team players.
  • People ask for help when unsure or overwhelmed with workload.
  • People are goal oriented and open to being held accountable for measured productivity against those goals.

This has become the new standard for employees in the workplace.

It has transformed the expectation for how people show up.

As my client has commented, ““Before applying the steps to create the “IDEAL Work Environment” process we had a culture of complacency and disrespect. Now everyone expects more from themselves and each other, they definitely communicate better and are moving forward.”

This is because everyone contributed to identifying the type of behaviors they wanted in a work environment.

When this happens it is easier to hold people accountable to what they create and agree to.

In most small businesses the culture develops through default.

With this process small business cultures develop by design.

Which would you prefer?

As mentioned above there are two parts to this first step:

  1. Have the team brainstorm all the good things they like about their present work environment they want to keep as they build their new I.D.E.A.L. Work Environment. It is important that the conversation doesn’t begin with negativity and the mindset that we have to throw out everything and start over.
  2. Identify the types of behaviors that are expected of people working in the I.D.E.A.L. Work Environment. Some of these will be carryovers from the first activity and some will be new to address some deficient areas. Review the two lists, discuss the commonalities where concepts are relatively the same but described with different language to refine into one, and agree on a final list of 8-10 expected behaviors that would define Your I.D.E.A.L. Work Environment.

If you’d like to have the playbook on creating Your I.D.E.A.L. Work Environment you can request the free report titled, Your I.D.E.A.L. Work Environment Manifesto at

Where you have to go next, though, is where most of these initiatives get derailed.

Next time, you will learn Step 2, the “D” in the I.D.E.A.L. Work Environment acronym.

Be sure to leave a comment below with the characteristics you’d like to see in your “ideal work environment.”

’til next time, Communicate with Power,

skip-weisman-professional speaker-small business championship coach

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