They’re your most valuable asset, but the most unpredictable and difficult to manage. Your business is built on the skills, talents and hard work of your employees. Yet many managers know the frustration that comes with a growing headcount and the consistent stream of HR issues that distract the organization for the primary objective of growing a successful enterprise.
While there’s no magic wand that will just make staff problems go away, there are things that managers can do to keep their teams as happy and productive as possible. You’ll be surprised how far a few small gestures will take you:
Everyone on your team wants to know they’re valued and appreciated. Even the most self-motivated employee will flourish even more when appreciation is made clear. From your side, it can be as simple as sponsoring a lunch or surprising them with unique corporate gifts. Pick something that relates to the individual or the business and add your logo to it—They’ll be reminded of your attitude towards them each time they see it. Positivity breeds productivity, so each gift is an investment, not an expense.
Keep It Constructive
Positivity can quickly diminish in the face of criticism or reprimands. No one likes being told they’re wrong or have their hard work torn to pieces. Understanding your employees’ feelings and offering feedback in a positive and constructive manner is crucial to maintaining positive feelings in the workplace. After all, as a manager, your job is to help your people improve and grow, not stifle their natural abilities. Experts prefer the ‘sandwich method’. Whether you’re doing a review or having a quick chat with employees:
- Start off with a compliment or a word of thanks.
- Now share your concern or feedback in a constructive.
- End off with another positive remark.
It lightens the blow so your team doesn’t lose momentum, but you make sure weak areas or faults in the company are tended to, which is ultimately better for the organization as well.
Invest in Their Futures
If you feel that your team keeps on losing momentum despite your bests efforts, it could be because of a deep-seated problem: An inability to grow.
By nature, humans want to achieve, better themselves and leave legacies. If there are no opportunities for this, employees may not see any reason to perform well. It calls for some work on your side but the outcomes are worth it:
- Always try to promote internally
- Discuss people’s career goals with them and see if you can assist in those achievements
- Implement or training programs to improve skillsets, or encourage and assist employees to pursue training opportunities externally.
Experiencing growth is an excellent motivator, and in the long term it benefits your business too.
Learn to Listen
You can see that some of these tactics require in-depth discussions. People want to be heard, and that is no truer than in the workplace. Do you really take in their concerns when you have these chats with them?
Scheduling a meeting to talk about someone’s concerns or goals isn’t enough. Employees will wait to see what action you take based on their comments. If you do nothing or just pay lip service to their wishes they’ll stop sharing their thoughts and negativity will quickly escalate.
Keeping your employees in a positive mindset helps maintain high output, increases job satisfaction, productivity and retention rates. What’s good for your staff is also good for business, so commit yourself to helping them prosper and your organization will reap the rewards.