The more engaged your employees are, the more effective and productive they are. However, for many workers, the time spent at work is simply filler between the time they leave home and the time they come home.
The good news is that there are several things that you, as a manager, can do to encourage your employees to feel better about what they do, be more engaged, and to overall feel more worthwhile.
Your goal is to offer direction, guidance, and create goals – not to follow two steps behind them telling them what to do each step of the way.
Here are a few guidelines to work by that will assist you in getting the most out of your staff:
No Two Employees are Exactly Alike
Each employee who works for you is a unique individual. Instead of viewing your employees as a singular workforce, you should recognize the diversity among your staff and understand how that diversity can contribute to the overall potential of your company.
The first step in assisting employees to recognize their full potential is to realize that each one has different requirements, needs, advantages, and expectations.
Be Smart About Managing Expectations
When an employee’s desired duties and actual tasks don’t align, it’s a huge faux pas. From a practical standpoint, you cannot accommodate each person’s dreams and hopes, but you can (and should!) be familiar with what each of your employees is doing and in what manners they would like to contribute to the organization.
Working with them to find a mutually acceptable medium between what tasks need to be done and what they would like to do keeps both your employees and management satisfied. Inspired employees are productive employees.
Foster a Challenging Environment
Put yourself in your employees’ shoes. If you worked in a monotonous and unchallenging environment, you wouldn’t like it, would you? With that said, managers should strive to create a dynamic and challenging work environment for their employees – one that fosters excitement and creativity.
This includes utilizing a wide variety of personal development resources that are available to managers today. For example, you might try inviting industry experts in to coach employees or pairing employees with more experienced mentors.
Other ideas include joining professional networks or creating coaching plans. Of course, you should not neglect to reward high performing employees.
Maintain Clear, Two-Way Communication
You will often hear it preached that it is important for your employees to feel like they can come to you with their problems, and it is true. By maintaining open communication channels and founding a culture where all employees remain in the loop, issues will be taken care of before they become issues.
If a particular employee is struggling or is dissatisfied for some reason, then they will know that they can go to you. Alternately, if they are slacking, then they can expect to have a constructive conversation about that with you as well.
In addition to encouraging staff productivity, maintaining open lines of communication also fosters accountability and openness. When you have a thorough understanding of what your employees go through, you will develop a greater appreciation and understanding of them. If you are an in absentia manager, your employees will more than likely be unmotivated to get things done and fulfilled in their positions.
Streamline Your Business’s Operations
Ask any employee. Almost all of them will tell you that they despise bureaucracy. Not only is it annoying, but it can also greatly hinder your office’s productivity.
When an employee has unclear expectations regarding their job, or must report to multiple managers, disorganization will rule the work environment. When there is not clear-cut accountability or engagement between managers, employees, and their duties, it’s not hard for workers to fall into the pattern of inefficiency.
Don’t be Afraid to Fire Workers
Firing an employee for the sake of maintaining workplace harmony is one of the most unsavory aspects of the job. Managers should not avoid taking the lead on issues that could negatively affect any aspect of their business. In fact, the longer you wait, the more damage will be done.
The bottom line is that running a business is similar to going to a seminar on better business practices. Each day is full of lessons.
If you want to improve staff communication among your employees, you must absorb as much information as possible and then make use of the tools that you have in your arsenal in order to make yourself, and your employees, better.