Running a business can seem like a daunting task - it can be full of uncertainties, risks, and challenges.
But, for those who are willing to challenge themselves with running a business, the payoffs can be both lucrative and invaluable. Some of the perks of being in charge include setting your own hours, having the freedom to tackle different roles and having the authority to make your own decisions.
Almost any business requires a team to work together harmoniously in order to hit maximum potential. Employees - who are skilled and have a great attitude - can undoubtedly make a business run more smoothly, and make it more profitable. Once trained and trusted there is few things more valuable to a company than good employees.
When an employee first joins a team, it’s very rare that they will be working to their full potential. Employees need to be trained and nurtured so that they understand the job and feel confident in their role.
Ensuring that employees are happy in their role, and trained properly requires that management has specific skills and character traits.
Our guide below provides critical tips and pointers to help managers get the most employee productivity out of their employees, and ensure that they stick with the company for a long period of time.
Communication is the main building blocks in order for growth and longevity of any relationship - whether work related or not. This sentiment is especially true when it comes to your employees. In order to keep yourself and your team member on the same page and happy in their roles, great communication must always be implemented. Here are a few guidelines that will help with better communication.
Set clear expectations
Setting clear expectations with your employees is a must if you want to have a successful business. This can be achieved by voicing your expectations early and often.
Try to be very direct when voicing what you expect from each of your teammates. This will help to discourage lackluster effort from team members because they know exactly what is expected in their role, as well as the short and long term goals are while working for your company.
If you don’t set this expectation verbally with your team it can lead to confusion throughout the work environment. For example, if you haven’t made the standards that you expect from one employee clear and their efforts aren’t measuring up, then both you and your employee can be left disappointed.
When communicating being transparent is imperative. By being clear with your expectations, your employees will likely feel more a part of a team because they know exactly what is expected from them.
If something is being done that isn’t up to your standards, it’s essential to discuss this with employees so that you’re both on the same page. However, this doesn't just apply to negatives - you should also voice when an employee meets or exceeds your expectations.
Don’t be shy to really let your team be a part of your business, tell them the background of how you started and make them feel respected by reminding them that they are part of the bigger picture.
Lead by example
The best leaders are the ones that lead by example. By doing this you are showing other employees what is expected of them, and you will earn their respect. Hard work is infectious and most employees are happier to work harder when they see their superiors working hard too.
Leading employees by example doesn't have to just be about your work ethic. It can also be demonstrated through the way that you treat your employees. After all, studies show that employees who are happy and treated well and linked to higher productivity and longer tenures.
An employee is empowered when they are given additional responsibilities and feel like they are trusted. Empowering an employee can boost morale and lead to increased productivity. Technically, more productive employees should always lead to a boost in revenue.
Furthermore, empowering an employee will give other team members an incentive to work harder in order to gain additional responsibilities.
While empowering a employee can be done by delegating extra responsibilities, it can also be shown by respect your workers, guiding them and challenging them.
When running your own team, you’ll generally know exactly what you want done and how you want it to be done. This usually comes from the years of hard work, having read countless leadership books, practice and business challenges that have prepared you for a leadership position.
Eventually, when you have employees that are working for you, you’ll gauge a number of elements to decide their employee performance level. This can include things like initiative, attitude and skills. When an employee meets or exceeds expectations, they will have proved that they can handle more responsibility.
When an employee is given additional responsibilities, they will feel valued and like they are an important asset to the company. Placing more trust in them proves to the employee that you’ve recognised their hard work and believe that they can handle more.
This trust should give employees a sense of pride in their work and feel like their hard work has paid off. This positive affirmation should help an employee place more value in their job and feel more passionate about their role.
Show employees respect by not micromanaging them
The hiring process is complex and requires an extensive procedure that’s both time-consuming and costly to a company. However, it’s vital to take the time to carefully vet an employee to ensure that they are the best fit for the team.
So, if the new hire fits the requirements for the job, they should be allowed responsibility once they’ve learned the role. The act of micro managing - which can be defined as controlling every part of their job - can be discouraging and make an employee feel undervalued.
Of course, practically every new employee requires some sort of training, and this isn’t classified as micromanaging. However, once an employee is fully trained and has the skills to do the job themselves, managers should be careful to step back and allow some responsibility for the employee and encourage risk taking.
Micromanaging remove the motivation of the team or employee because they will feel like they can’t be trusted and their manager doesn’t believe they can do the job properly on their own. It can also take away from workers creativity and risk-taking because they aren’t given the space to use their own initiative.
Plus, when a leader is micromanaging they are taking time away from other jobs they can be focusing on, leading to reduced productive employees.
Guide and challenge
It is human nature to strive to do the best we can; it makes us feel good about ourselves and gives us purpose. This can be translated over to your employees and is a great technique to empower, guide and challenge them.
In order to properly guide and challenge an employee, you must allow for mistakes to be made around the workplace. These mistakes can be pointed out in a gentle way and discussed with the employee as a learning experience.
In order to properly guide an employee, you should find out what their goals are within this company. This information can be used to understand what direction they’d like to go, and help you determine a plan to get them there.
By practicing the above, it can help make your employees really like they are a respected part of your team, leading to increased employee engagement, booster morale and lower retention rates.
When trying to push your employees to their full potential it’s imperative to show them proper recognition. This will keep a positive attitude around the workplace, resulting in more productive employees.
A few ways to recognize employees is to provide incentives to your employees to reward their hard work, this can be done by giving awards, vouchers, and encouraging employees.
Incentivise hard work
Offering incentives for hard work around the workplace can increase productivity. This form of positive reinforcement makes an employee feel as though their hard work is recognized. This can be done through something as simple as verbally telling an employee they’ve done a great job or the reward can be something of value. Essentially, an incentive is something that shows your employees that respect their efforts.
A few examples of incentives could be rewarding the highest sales figure with a paid night out, lunch for free, allowing more flexible schedules or stock in the company.
An employee is usually given a specific role that they need to do, and this should be outlined in their job description. However, rewards can help with encouraging employees to work beyond their scope and increase productiveness. When an employee is offered a reward for going above and beyond, it can push employees to work harder and improve the overall workforce productivity.
A promotion is a positive confirmation that an employee has done their job so well that they have exceed expectations and management believes that they can be trusted with more responsibilities - and this is usually accompanied by a higher salary. This is a great way to show your co-workers that if you work hard you will work your way up the career ladder.
Further tips to increase employee productivity
Certain leadership styles should be altered so that leadership positions always have a positive attitude
Have a clear plan of what is expected from an employee in their role
Work to create a positive company culture
Measure employee productivity often
Provide constructive feedback to all employees
Workplace productivity is directly linked to business success and increased productivity. So, employers will want their employees work at their full potential. However, there is a fine line between encouraging an employee and pushing them too hard. To ensure that you approach this correctly, try to adapt the above tips into your employees and always remember to communicate, appreciate and empower.
Our team can help train your work on strategies to increase employee productivity give specific tips where needed, and/or make suggestions for software programs that can help your leaders. If you're interested in finding out more, you can contact us here.