(This is a contributed post)
Your employees do so much for your business; they are dedicated, hardworking and motivated, but sometimes they need that little extra boost to get them through the day. If you are looking for ways to boost productivity then there are a handful of methods you could implement into the day to day running of your business. Whether you’re experiencing a sales slump or employee retention isn’t what it used to be you can get your business back on track using simple but effective strategies. You pride yourself on being a manager who listens to the needs of your staff, as well as maintaining a professional relationship with them. They respect you massively, so anything you can do to help them is going to boost their work ethic even more. Consider the following techniques and weave them naturally into your business over time. Don’t shake up your usual habits all at the same time as this might overwhelm and confuse your workers. Little by little, try to make their lives easier and your business strategies smoother. Eventually, you will have a team of people working together like clockwork, who love doing what they do for your business.
Your employees work around the clock for you and make sure your business ticks along smoothly without any hiccups. Shift workers can easily become demotivated if they are stuck doing the same patterns every single day. They will not be able to have a social life if they are always working overnight and they will struggle with early mornings all the time too. There are so many benefits of a rotating shift, whereby your employees work a day shift for a week or two, and then they switch to the overnight shift. This covers all of your bases and allows your workers to have regular time off.
As well as switching up their shift pattern you should also be allowing your staff a standard allowance of annual leave. Whether they take this in one large chunk or they scatter their weeks off throughout the year, make sure all of your employees are aware of your holiday policies as soon as they start working for you. You should also allow them to take a day off for medical appointments or dentist appointments as and when they need them. Keep track of each worker’s time off so that you can always check they are doing everything by the book.
It is likely that many of your employees have families or children that they need to dedicate time to throughout the week. Perhaps you could give everybody the option of working from home for a day or two a week. In the long run this would save you money on overheads in the office too. Whatever kind of patterns your staff are working you should also ensure you allow flexible working agreements for those who need it. For example, someone with children might find it easier to work early morning shifts so that they can pick them up from school in the afternoon. Find out their preferences and make tweaks in the staff rota whenever applicable.
Your employees need to be able to trust you and open up to you about any problems they are having at home or in the workplace. You should always keep an open door policy, whereby your workers can pop into your office for a chat anytime. No matter how busy your schedule is, you should always find time to chat to your members of staff. They might be struggling with the workload or perhaps they aren’t getting along with somebody in the office. Whatever their problem is you should try and resolve it efficiently and professionally, so their mind is at ease when they come to work.
Who really enjoys attending a long monotonous meeting on a Friday afternoon? Let’s face it you would rather be going home early and finishing off your work on Monday! Try to make meetings memorable and more fun for your employees. Meet at the local coffee hot spot for brunch or limit meetings to twenty minutes or less. If you don’t all need to congregate in the same room, then just send out a note to the people involved. Meetings can be extremely useful, but they can also disrupt people’s working day. Only hold them when absolutely necessary.
As well as your open door policy, make sure you are always listening to what your people need. Perhaps there is a general consensus that their computers are too slow, or their early morning shift isn’t proactive enough. Listening to every detail on your employee’s working day will help you to learn more about their personal and professional struggles. Always be sympathetic to their issues and be willing to figure out their troubles efficiently. They will be coming to work every single day for a long time, so make it a smooth and non-stressful place for them to be each day.
Every person in the midst of their career wants to know that there are ample opportunities for progression. Being stuck in a dead end job with no prospects can be hugely demoralizing, so don’t let your company be like this. Offer out enrichment schemes and development opportunities, so that everybody in the office gets a chance to experience a new line of work for a short period of time. You might just discover people’s hidden skills that you didn’t know about before and this could really open up a lot of doors for the future.
As well as progression throughout the company, you employees will also be looking for opportunities to enhance their general knowledge about the industry in which they work. You can increase employee opportunities dramatically by allowing them to attend relevant conferences, go on business trips and even travel abroad to meet new clients. The more opportunities you present to your workers, the more attractive your company will be. You want people to love working for you, so give them the chance to flourish and make a huge impact on the industry.
It is paramount that your business follows the law and remains an all-inclusive place, which doesn’t discriminate against anybody. Race, age, religion, ethnicity and social background should never be an issue when hiring new employees. See everybody that walks through the door equally and only judge them on their skills and potential in your workplace.
Your employees shouldn’t just be people you pass in the hallway every day in the office, you should be able to head out and socialize with them on a regular basis. Organize trips to the pub after work and arrange seasonal events for Christmas, Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, in order to bring people together. Sharing a drink together can be a great bonding exercise for everybody in the office, so embrace the social scene much more.
So allow your workplace to thrive in the best way possible and treat your staff with the kindness and compassion you would have wanted when you first started out in business. Understandably, your day is extremely busy but you should always make time for the people who have helped you to mould your business into the successful firm it is today. Treat everyone with respect and you will be destined for even greater success in the future.