Any business is only as good as the people behind it. Good staff can help your business grow, move forward and get better; however, even good members of staff can become disenchanted with their work and lose motivation for their work-life. The fact of the matter is that you need your staff to come to work for more than just their salary, they should enjoy what they do, they should like where they do it and they should get on well with who they do it alongside. Bad Staff on the other hand can cause division within your company, stand in the way of progress and damage the harmony that your business needs. So how can you motivate those good employees that might have lost their way?
Any business owner that has previously worked for someone else’s business will know that you do a great deal more work to a higher quality when you feel that you are a real part of it, that you own it. When you run and manage a business of your own, you become responsible for the product or service that your customers are buying.
If you can make employees feel like they own a small part of the business they work for then they will take real pride in what they do and will want to work harder for the cause, but how? A simple way to do this is to encourage feedback and ideas from your employees, if you are seen to listen to and implement good suggestions then your employees will feel more a part of the bigger picture.
It’s also advisable to encourage giving your employees responsibility; this gives them a sense of ownership over the work they have a responsibility for.
My point on ownership leads us nicely onto a second point under this same idea. You employ adults and should therefore treat them like adults. Let them know what’s going on during any troublesome times that your business goes through, about new products you have on the way or perhaps any challenges that your business could face in the coming months.
You might think that letting your staff know what’s going on in troublesome times could cause them to become distracted, worried or even panicked; however, rumors that are spread often turn out to be worse than what’s actually going on.
Know when to be the Boss
Everyone has their own management styles and my own personally preferred style is to try and aim for as equal a footing as possible. This tends to work for me but there are situations that you need to assert your dominance and put on your boss shoes. Ideally you’ll have a good relationship with your employees without becoming a peer.
I like to think that I personally have a strong relationship with my employees; nevertheless, business is business and if a member of my team isn’t pulling their weight then I’ll step in and do what needs to be done. Being an authoritative figure in the workplace will encourage your staff to work harder and be more efficient.
Let them know what you expect
It’s important for both you and your employees that they know exactly what you expect of them. This will ensure that they get the work done that is required of them and that if they don’t, it’s clear to all involved that they haven’t.
That being said, it’s important that the expectations you set are realistic. Expecting too much from your employees will result in them becoming stressed, losing productivity and even being resigned to the fact that they can’t get it all done, so why bother trying?
If you haven’t got a good understanding of the job or role that they have then take the time to observe and talk to the employee or their supervisor about what realistic expectations are of them. From there you can find a happy middle ground and even update expectations at a later date, if they are too slack or too strenuous.
Break up the days – plan a team building activity, invite employees into the board room to watch an episode of How I Met Your Mother, have call of duty hour! These ideas are a bit out of the box but it’s important that you break up the day and don’t let your employees get bored.
Everyone likes a flexible boss – If a member of your team needs to leave an hour early for an appointment or could do with a half-day for a good reason then try to be as flexible as possible, of course you shouldn’t be taken advantage of but if you do a good deed by being flexible then you can expect the employee to feel a sense of debt and to repay this by working extra hard.