It’s a straightforward formula: happy employees create a better business. Although many employers typically only consider the “conventional” methods to keeping their staff content (think vacation time, bonuses, promotions, etc.), there are a myriad of nuanced factors that have an even bigger impact.
Below, take a look at five ways you can keep your employees satisfied, motivated, and productive… and help your business thrive in the process.
1. Embrace Ebbs and Flows
If your business is going through a burst that requires lots of late nights and weekends, show your employees that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Remember to thank them for the extra work, and remind them that things will slow down after such-and-such date. They will appreciate that you recognize their dedication, and will be less likely to get burned out if they know that the madness has an end date.
2. Think About the Clock
Consider this mantra: “Don’t waste your employees’ time, and they won’t waste yours.” Simple, but true. Prioritize tasks and streamline your objectives so that you can deliver them to your staff in a clear, concise way. If you notice that any of your employees are having difficulty getting deliverables to your on time, schedule a meeting with them to give them a few pointers on time management.
3. Put a Stop to Unnecessary Emails
A constant stream of online discourse isn’t just overwhelming; it’s also often counter-productive. Think of it this way. If it would be more efficient to have a five minute phone conversation rather than shoot a dozen emails back and forth, then give them a call. Many employees also feel that they have to be chained to their computer (metaphorically, of course) into the wee hours of the morning or on weekends to instantly respond to any email that might come their way. Consider implementing a policy that urges against sending emails at off-hours, or from sending frivolous messages. You’ll be saving everyone’s time and sanity.
4. Put a Stop to the “All-Nighters Club”
Many employees engage in a “who did it longest” competition, measuring one another on who clocked the most hours at the office, who came in on weekends, or who gave up their annual vacation rather than take two vacation days. This is not healthy, and it does not foster a productive work atmosphere. It is, in fact, a recipe for stress and exhaustion – and in the most objective terms, that will do your business no good. If you feel like employees are beginning to engage in this behavior, remind them that (in most cases), they should not be working a 16-hour day or spending Saturday in the office. Direct them to productivity tips to help them work more efficiently.
5. Eliminate Bad Surprises, and Bring on Good Surprises
Try to always provide your employees with a timeline of their upcoming projects, as well as a frame of reference so they understand why the task is important. This brings a sense of value to their role. In addition, it will ensure that they aren’t pummeled with “surprise” tasks that feel like they came out of right field.
Good surprises will boost morale and, ultimately, improve productivity in the office. Instead of sticking with end-of-year bonuses and holiday parties, consider peppering the year with incentives that show your appreciation for their hard work. Employees value feeling like they’re valued; this will have a huge impact.
Although occasional employee turnover is inevitable, these tips will help your foster a workplace that is built on mutual respect – and, consequently, increased productivity. Everybody wins.
Source: Dorie Clark