Refrigeration contractors are all too familiar with people problems: the technician shortage, the challenges of retaining skilled workers and of attracting millennials to the refrigeration industry, and the day-to-day task of maintaining a good company culture and motivating employees. If it’s any consolation, you are not alone. The reality is that many workplaces are not engaging, inspiring, productive places to be.

Recent daily engagement data from Gallup shows that only 30 percent of U.S. workers are “actively engaged” in their jobs. TinyHR's 2014 employee engagement and organizational culture report discovered that only 21 percent of employees feel strongly valued at work — and 64 percent of employees believe that their company does not have a strong, healthy work culture.

The good news is there is something you can do about this at your company by starting with the one factor you can truly control: yourself.

S. Chris Edmonds is a speaker, author and executive consultant who is the founder and CEO of The Purposeful Culture Group. He's one of Inc. magazine's 100 Great Leadership Speakers and  the author of the Amazon best-seller The Culture Engine and five other books. His blog, podcasts, and videos are at Driving Results Through Culture. He tweets on organizational culture, servant leadership, and workplace inspiration at @scedmonds.

In Edmonds’ own GREAT Boss assessment, more than 5,000 global respondents shared their perceptions of their bosses. The results? Only 45 percent of respondents agree that their boss “inspires their best efforts each day,” while 58 percent believe their boss “demonstrates trust and respect in every interaction with me.”

Edmonds noted that many leaders focus exclusively on results, but managing results is only half a leader's job. The other half is managing effective relationships.

To help remedy this situation, Edmonds has created the GREAT Boss model: concepts he says have helped improve relationships across leaders' teams and boosted individual and team performance across a number of industries.

Here are his five secrets that GREAT bosses use to inspire trust and respect in the workplace.


GREAT bosses create avenues for team members to learn new approaches, develop new skills, cooperate and coordinate with others, and gain confidence to put those skills into action in the workplace.


GREAT bosses know that positive relationships based on shared values create mutual trust and respect in the workplace. They create and maintain positive relationships with team members and expect the same among team members.


GREAT bosses set clear performance expectations and coach team members to exceed them, every time. High standards consistently met help focus the team's positive contributions to the company and to customers.


GREAT bosses know that consequence management is the avenue to high-performing, values-aligned teams. They praise and encourage progress and accomplishment of both goals and valued behaviors. They redirect and, if needed, reprimand values-misaligned behaviors and missed performance standards.


GREAT bosses know that cooperative interaction among team members maintains trust and respect more than competitive interaction does. They create norms that enable sharing of information, skills, and support across their team.

What does it take to put these five secrets into action in a team? According to Edmonds, the leader must invest time and energy daily to bring each of these to fruition with every team member. Only if the leader models these five characteristics will team members believe that they're truly important to their leader.

“We know what it takes to create a purposeful, positive, productive team culture — we have watched our great bosses do it in the past,” Edmonds said.

Becoming a GREAT boss won’t necessarily solve all the challenges that come with running a contracting company. However, it can improve your team’s culture, and in a competitive marketplace a great culture may be the edge you need to help you attract and retain engaged, positive team members. Best wishes as you strive for GREATness!

Publication date: 12/4/2017

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