BLOG – Businesses run on people. Developing workers with ideal employee skills is an art. It takes competent personnel in every single role to help the business reach its highest potential. Managing those people is a fine art, one that is developed with every interaction between workers and their supervisors. Making the most of those interactions will help the company make the most of its mission.
It sounds easy enough, but how is it done? How do effective managers interact with employees in a consistently positive and beneficial way? And how do you build that from Day One when you’ve taken the leap and started your own business?
There are lots of different people taking lots of different approaches to this question. Let’s look at a few suggestions on how you might be able to develop employees into strong assets to your company.
People work for two things: money and satisfaction. While there may be pay issues that you’ll have to address as well, you can do a lot of good by providing rewards that generate satisfaction among employees. Many workers complain that no one appreciates what they do. Don’t let them say that about your company.
Develop a system for rewarding achievement. Take a look at EDCO to see the wide range of plaques, trophies, and other commemorations that you can choose from, and then develop (and publicize) the reward structure that will provide each successive level of recognition. Not only will you create interest in pushing toward the next mark, but you’ll also help employees remember your acknowledgment of their previous achievements.
A great way to build your staff is to make up some friendly ways for them to compete. After all, high performance isn’t always absolute; sometimes, it must be measured relative to the production of others.
It doesn’t have to be sales goals or efficiency. It doesn’t even have to be work-related. Rip off an idea from a reality show and have a baking competition or a steak-grilling contest. Hold a talent show for the musicians and dancers on your staff, and allow room for some of the more unique talents. Just be sure to build the competition in a way that’s inclusive (for example, don’t hold a track meet if you have disabled workers) and centered on fun.
Develop a Balance
Rules are rules, but rule enforcers don’t have to be quite the fanatics that some employees perceive them to be. When a new policy is handed down with no explanation, people see it as a hindrance to what they do, and they’ll spend a lot of time trying to work around it or even to defy it.
That is preventable. Workers are much more understanding of rules and policies when they can see a legitimate and constructive purpose for them. Instead of merely decreeing that they must do A, B, and C, explain to them how those steps can prevent problems such as D, E, and F, all of which could impact them. And if there is no D, E, or F, you might revisit A, B, and C to determine if they are essential.
Managing a staff of humans is a tough job. You’re dealing with dozens of different personalities, a wide range of demographics, various motivations, and a spectrum of aspirations and career plans. There are no cookie-cutter solutions to building an excellent program for getting the most out of your staff, so you can’t expect to do it overnight.
Indeed, it may take an extended period of tweaking and innovating to get even a single project to achieve what it is intended to do, so the strategy should be to develop a program rather than to install it. With that perspective, you can get your workers to a peak level.