Staff are the backbone of an organization. Their behavior is how your customers and clients judge your operation and its professionalism. Having an effective, motivated workforce is often the key to a business doing well. Treat your staff well and they will work hard for you, treat them badly and they will watch the clock and be inflexible in their jobs. Here are some simple and effective tips to motivate staff, manage workplace stress and ensure that they are loyal, committed and work hard for you.
– Communicate. Tell people what is going on. Nothing travels faster than a rumor and company morale can be devastated almost overnight. Staff who feel included, informed and respected will be loyal as a result.
– Mediate. In dispute situations try to arbitrate. Deal with situations promptly and get all the information from the involved parties. All concerned will have a valid point of view and they need to be listened to and respected. Try to get the main parties round a table to discuss it. Mediation is about finding the common ground and then moving forward a step at a time.
– Be fair. Being fair and being seen to be fair is very important. People will often accept a decision made against them if they can see and understand that they were deal with fairly.
– Listen to your staff. They may have excellent ideas for improvement. Some of the most successful businessmen regularly visit the shop floor and chat to staff. They understand that the shop floor and sales staff see the business at the sharp end and their views and feedback is really valuable. Sometimes the most obvious inefficiencies can be missed from the boardroom. Appreciate and value your staff caring enough to pass on ideas for improvement. Encourage it.
– Encourage them to progress. Some staff are happy to stay in one job all their lives, but a company progresses when its staff are dynamic, motivated and enthusiastic. Committed staff have to be noticed, developed and given the opportunity to progress or else they may well leave and take their talent elsewhere.
– Train them. Use staff appraisals to discover where staff interests and skills lie. Then have company training programs available for the interested members of the business.
– Reward good results. Money and bonuses are one way to motivate staff, but not all companies have the financial resources to pay bonuses and reward schemes. Sometimes a company ‘;employee of the month’; scheme can be well received, where a staff member has their photograph put on a wall of honor. Being acknowledged for their efforts can be an important motivator.
– Avoid being too flashy. When staff are being told that times are hard and budgets are being squeezed it can feel absorbing and de-motivational to see management arriving in expensive cars and suits and taking fabulous holidays. Be aware that it is reasonable to be seen to be doing well, approaching the right to have rewards for all the years of sacrifice put into building the business. However if you expect staff to work hard and take cuts then they will expect to see you do the same.
– Admit when you are wrong. Sometimes saying that you have tried something but have been unsuccessful can be a very powerful thing to do. It can humanize a manager in front of his staff. Clearly, people need to feel confident in their management and be able to trust them, but if a policy or strategy clearly has not worked, admitting that and saying that the experience has been learned from is a positive step.