Does where you park mean anything? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Does where you park mean anything?

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills,Management Training

The way you use your organization’s parking lot can send important messages about your unvoiced priorities and your leadership style. Here’s what we saw at five organizations:

1. The ego trip. At Organization A, the owner installed a big “RESERVED FOR” sign and claimed the prime parking space for herself. On rainy days, she parks her blue Jaguar there and walks a few short yards into the lobby, while workers get soaked dashing across the open lot. Is this the leadership message she really wants to send?

2. The egalitarian message. At Organization B, the owner parks far from the building, even farther than most employees do. He walks briskly across the lot and then climbs the stairs to his third-floor suite, believing that his fitness orientation sends a good signal to his troops. He might be right.

3. An employee reward. Organization C’s leaders reserve the parking spot nearest the door for the “Employee of the Month,” nominated on a rotating basis. It’s an effective, no-cost reward for hard workers.

4. Environmentalism. At Organization D, management has installed not only attractive plants around the lot, but trash receptacles and recycling bins with signs that say “Recycle It Here.” It lets employees know that the company supports recycling and wants to make it easy for them, too.

5. Concern for safety. Organization E’s management has installed emergency phones in prominent locations throughout its indoor garage. Each is equipped with a big red button that will sound an alarm. No employees have used these phones, but several say they find their presence “reassuring" when leaving the premises after working late into the evening.

Don’t forget: All the small things you do add up and build a positive leadership image or a negative one.

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