20 Ways To Create An Emotionally Secure Workplace


Cultivating an emotionally secure work environment at Brand Fuel is non-negotiable. This is something I have come to respect over 20 years of co-owning and co-running this company. Admittedly, I have not always made the best decisions about investing in employees, but I have learned many lessons along the way—and I am still learning. For what it is worth, here are some tips that may help you:

  • Lesson 1: Inspire and empower your employees versus trying to command and control them.

  • Lesson 2: Help your team prune the intake of information, meetings, projects, etc. or they might end up with scarcities in more important areas like their well-being, financial security, self-esteem and optimism.

  • Lesson 3: Small things really matter. In particular, recognize deserving staffers publicly (use promotional products).

  • Lesson 4: Ensure your decisions are both fair and consistent for everyone.

  • Lesson 5: Having coworkers say, “I love you” and giving hugs in the workplace are deeply connected to productivity and fulfillment (aka retention).

  • Lesson 6: I have always been told that you shouldn’t/can’t be friends with your staff. I disagree.

  • Lesson 7: Hold employees accountable. However, this fails if you can’t hold yourself accountable.

  • Lesson 8: Hire “people developers,” not managers.

  • Lesson 9: Always ask for a trusted second and third opinion from your staff

  • Lesson 10: Kindness is a foundation for everything. It rewards the giver too.

  • Lesson 11: If laughter is missing in your workplace, hire a comedian.

  • Lesson 12: Listen. Really listen.

  • Lesson 13: Do what you say you are going to do.

  • Lesson 14: Hire people who either have an existing friend at work or are those you are pretty sure will make friends with others.

  • Lessons 15: Give employees the benefit of the doubt.

  • Lesson 16: Don’t react in a heated situation. Put your thoughts on paper and let them simmer for 24 hours. The outcome will be better if you pause and think versus react immediately.

  • Lesson 17: Honesty with no filter might feel risky but employees will respect and trust you more.

  • Lesson 18: Criticism is hard to give and take. Criticize anyway, in the right spirit, for growth.

  • Lesson 19: Familiar is forgettable. Some things unique to Brand Fuel include these “perks”: Valentine’s Day off. Full album Fridays. Four hours of silence. White elephant costumes. Hair chairs for tardiness. Bands in the showroom. Dogs at work. Air horns. Guinness World Records. Freshly squeezed water. Outrageous office pranks. Kindness containers. Rocket days. Compliment Circles. Waffle House Halloweens.

  • Lesson 20: Do less barking and more wagging. 

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Danny Rosin, CAS, is co-owner of distributor Brand Fuel in Morrisville, North Carolina.

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Comments (3)
Danny Rosin
February 18, 2019
Bob and Fern - Thanks so much for the thoughtful responses and amazing additions. I love your remote staff suggestions, noting the trend these days to work remote. And Fern, ANTHROPOMAXIMOLOGIST - I have been knocked down smiling. Keep up the great work!
Bob Levitt
February 18, 2019
Danny, thanks for sharing. Getting a glimpse into your company culture always puts a smile on my face. I love the Hair Chair for Tardiness. I assume that the last person arriving get's the last open chair...the one with the crazy wig requirement? love it. On a macro level, I couldn't agree more about how critical it is to build a culture that supports individuality, emotional security, with safe & productive work conditions. The challenge is to do this in a virtual environment. My team of 6 work all works from their homes in different cities. My partial list would be: 1) Bad hair days don't matter...everyone's on video. 2) With two ears and only one mouth, listen twice as much as you speak 3) Respect time by providing an agenda and start and end the meeting on time 4) Meet you at the virtual water cooler...set up 15 meeting ( maximum) for a quick huddle call- using video when all possible.
Fern Silver
February 12, 2019
Danny, I love what you shared. For almost 30 years, I have been sharing ideas similar to yours with clients, suppliers and distributors. You are special - Hope you receive lots of hugs and feedback from your team. You are definitely an ANTHROPOMAXIMOLOGIST.....a title given to me by a client years ago and a Leadership/Recognition program I developed to recognize all who help others maximize joy and performance. Glad to share ideas any time with you. THANK YOU for who you are and what you stand for!!!!
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