Business leaders are smart. They are capable. They are courageous. Yet despite all that, they often have a great tendency to over complicate things. Finding the best results often means experimenting, in many different departments. Sometimes, this can get in the way. When it comes to organizing labor, managers can often get this wrong too, overcomplicating things or coming up with hair-brained schemes to try and squeeze what little artificial motivation they can out of their team.
A team building activity is one thing. But having your employees stand around in a circle, hold hands and say one thing they like about each other? That might be a little much. Getting the best from your staff shouldn't be rocket science. In fact, often the simplest solutions have the best results. While human beings are certainly the most complex resource your business will ever have to manage, there's no reason why you need to think of this as some kind of intense puzzle to solve.
Let us consider what that might mean, and how you might solve it:
Keep Them In The Know
While there may be degrees of clarity needed to keep confidential projects secretive and certain documents only accessible to your higher-ups, when it comes to their working experience - staff need to be in the know. Keeping a clear and concise understanding is essential if you hope for staff to be reliable. In other words, to foster reliability, you have to be reliable as a manager yourself.
It's essential for you to be extremely clear about shift patterns, changes you make, compensation for overtime, when paid vacation is applicable and how to apply for it, tax deductions from a payment installment, as well as any updates regarding their employment experience. But in order to deliver this information, you first need to have a watertight grasp on it yourself. This is why using the Sling employee scheduling tool can help you avoid clashes in conflict, help you arrange swapped shifts, or generally get the most out of your team.
Keeping your staff in the know can also relate to the projects they contribute to, or the effective training they might need to keep on top of standards. For example, it might seem as though your janitor's duties are fairly straightforward, but if they also need to comply with new health and safety legislation - it's essential you have them trained in this too.
Staff need to feel as though they are equipped to handle the jobs they are asked to do. Keeping them above standard can be a worthy investment. But aside from these mandatory courses, you might also invest in some optional ones. This can help you figure out who is grasping the role with both hands, and might help you understand who is worth being promoted. On top of that, they will likely build skills worth having, and that's always a net positive almost no matter how you look at things.
For example - it might be that your buying staff take an extra procurement course, or are given the ability to attend Toastmasters public speaking training, allowing them the ability to better negotiate or present their ideas in a role that might help your firm and their professional development. Staff rarely wish to spend an entire lifetime at your firm as one of their early employed goals. You need to earn that. Decades can quickly pass if you support and continually help refine the professional development of those within your firm. This can sound counter-intuitive, because of course, the more you train people, the more it can seem that they will leave for better pastures. That can happen. But you'd be surprised just how many will stay, willing to reinvest the skills you have taught them and funnel their professional development. A business that cares for its employees will be one that is prestigious to work for, no matter how large or small your business might be.
Let Them Work
There's been much written about the need for accountability, for interacting with your staff, for being on top of things and knowing everyone by their first name. There's nothing wrong with any of that. However, sometimes this overly staff-focused approach can actually become too much, and that's not a good thing. If you find that you're routinely pestering your staff, you are sending out too many emails regarding certain topics, or that the frequency of team meetings is starting to get ludicrous - you might just need to let your staff work.
Giving them the right tools, a clear direction and a means to bring the team together is essential. But giving them the hours to actually focus on and commit to a task is also worthwhile. In other words, giving them the benefit of the doubt to get the project completed on time is important if you hope for your staff to feel trusted, comforted, and appreciated.
We would recommend instead of the morning brief each day, have it once or twice a week and send clear and concise daily digests to their email inbox each morning. Allow them to report issues confidentially through an online reporting system, and enable them the chance to book appointments with your confident HR service. Ensure that all communication options are available to them, from a VoIP set to instant messaging throughout the suite you use.
If you can offer all this - staff become much more able to interact with their daily responsibilities rather than becoming distracted by the dressing around them. After all - your staff know they are hired to do a job, and enabling them to do this can help them apply their best creative organizational genius to the task. To us, that sounds like a profoundly positive and human-focused means of organizing your staff.
With this advice, we hope you're much better able to get the best from your staff. After all, they are likely willing to do this - all you need is to provide the means.