Our employees are some of our biggest investments. Not only do we pay their wages on a day to day basis, but we are investing in their future with the training and on-the-job learning that comes with employment. Pumping money in our staff base is one of the best ways to spend company money. It ensures high levels of staff morale, their loyalty, but most of all it ensures their efficiency. Happy, safe, and comfortable staff work better, faster, and more effectively. When they don’t resent coming into work, they’re able to work to the best of their abilities, and what’s more, they actually want to. When staff are happy working for their employer and feel a sense of pride in what they do, their work becomes higher quality as a result. Investing in your staff is all about increasing efficiency and productivity. Here are a few ideas for how to get them on board.
Invest in ergonomics
The science of ergonomics is all about human efficiency in the workplace. It focuses on how the layout of the office, their workstation, and even interpersonal interactions affect their productivity. The argument is that if a person is uncomfortable because of their physical surroundings, or they have to move an unnecessary amount in order to complete their work, then they cannot work effectively.
Investing in ergonomic furniture reduces the fatigue felt as a result of poorly designed equipment, it reduces absenteeism, and it even increases staff satisfaction level. All it takes is chairs and tables which adjust, the option of standing desks, and an ergonomic computer mouse as an investment to see huge returns. It can sound quite bizarre, but studies show that it can make a significant difference in productivity, making it a smart investment in staff.
Encourage them to play to their strengths
Treating staff as individuals in their place of work is management 101. Allowing them to undertake projects, or positions within project teams, which play to their particular strengths is a guaranteed way to encourage the to demonstrate enthusiasm. When people are great at something, and their own manager and colleagues acknowledge that strength, it encourages them to play up to it.
The human desire to prove oneself over and over prevails, and their work is a great quality as a result – they want to make themselves proud after all. If you have a team member who is a strong people person, encourage them to take a customer facing role in a project, or to play the role of peacekeeper within the team. After all, roles within a project group aren’t just the prescribed professional roles – there are always other aspects which people fall into naturally. This is how a team functions at its highest efficiency.
Offering structure without micromanaging is the key to a strong team. People need structure in their daily lives otherwise bedlam descends. Micromanaging, on the other hand, can cause staff to feel belittled and patronized, and can even result in laziness and an inability to think for themselves. Creating a sense of routine, an obvious tree of management and answerability, but then leaving them to their own devices can really pay off.
It’s important to ensure that they know what needs doing at each point throughout the week, and with something like maintenance scheduling software, staff are able to see what needs doing, without the need for micromanagement or excessive meetings. Having this sort of software allows autonomy in the workplace, and also demonstrates a feeling of trust between the employee and yourself, which can be a truly positive experience for members of staff.
Perform regular appraisals
Openness and honest within a team is a significantly important part of building a strong group. Ensuring that nothing is left unsaid, and all information is transferred to staff effectively can promote trust and staff satisfaction. This can be done through emails to the team, staff meetings, and even staff appraisals. In this way, staff appraisals are a great way for you to catch up, one on one. You are able to inform them of any changes coming up in the company which might affect or be of interest to them, and they can express any concerns in return.
It is also a great opportunity to catch up on their performance in their role. You can converse about any areas in which they can improve, and equally inform them what they’re doing well. This sort of meeting allows you to better understand each other’s expectations, which can then be acted on. In turn, this can see a great increase in efficiency at work, and an increase in staff satisfaction simultaneously. If you do not currently hold staff appraisals, give them a go – they can be truly eye-opening experiences.
Praise great work
There can be a lot of negativity in the workplace as tensions run high due to tight deadlines and external pressures. It’s important to remember amongst all this to praise great work. Most people respond more effectively to praise than complaints, so if you’d like somebody to repeat their highest quality piece of work in future, try using phrases like “it was amazing when you did X, you should try that again in future”. Or equally, “X was really great, what was it you did differently this time?” These sorts of compliments allow them to be reflective on their work, and gives them a point to aim for in the future, giving them all the tools to work effectively and smartly in the future.
Never use embarrassment
Finally, never use embarrassment or humiliation as a form of punishment. Even if someone really messes up, take them to one side and discuss the problem clearly and level-headedly. Embarrassing someone in front of their colleagues can lead to resentment towards the manager, and it will even sow seeds of distrust towards you among other members of staff. This, in turn, will dissuade people from doing their best work for you, and you could see a drop in staff efficiency as a result, as well as a rise in staff turnover rates.
It’s always best to treat staff fairly and levelly, and they will do their best work for you as thanks.
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