An unknown author once said, “If you expect your employees to go the extra mile for your customers, you must prove that you are willing to go the extra mile for them.” Remember, your employees are customers, too; if you don’t take care of them, they will find others who can. Losing a star staff member can mean lowered productivity and efficiency, issues that are bound to affect your company. They can even jeopardize your sustainability and survival.
Certainly, managing human resources is a continuing challenge for business owners. Employees are the backbone and most integral part of every organization. Keeping your staff engaged goes beyond financial compensation. It’s a matter of creating “win-win” strategies. That is, adjusting your management practices to boost employees’ motivation, resulting in improved productivity and profitability.
Having the “3 Rs” in place will help you motivate employees and tap into their potential, which will strengthen their connection with your business, eventually coming to regard it almost as their own.
Just like in marriage, constant communication leads to a lasting relationship. A simple smile and greeting cost you nothing but can mean a lot to your employees. Since they typically want job security and stability, try to be as transparent as possible, and update them on the company’s financial standing and any happenings that could impact their job.
Another way to reach out is to schedule a regular one-on-one session, asking your staff how they’re doing, asking about their needs or concerns, and even addressing any personal matters that they may want to share with you. Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, shared that he would always congratulate his staff on their life events, such as welcoming a new baby, celebrating a birthday, a child recently graduating, etc. When your workers feel that you’re aware of what’s going on with them and that you know what they value, they will surely stay with you. Maintaining an open-door policy can be a highly effective feedback mechanism as well, but obviously it needs to be within reasonable bounds. As the boss and leader, your words should have the power to motivate your people and inspire them to be at their best.
Everyone likes to feel valued. Your team will appreciate being recognized for their abilities, beyond simply being paid for their work. Keep employees motivated by challenging them and strategically expanding their duties. You can cross-train them or increase their responsibilities (once again, within reason). The key is to head off the possibility of them growing complacent or bored without burning them out.
Another method of non-monetary recognition is to empower your employees the authority to self-manage and make decisions. Give them the opportunity to utilize their skills and expand their horizons. People are motivated when they work with less supervision. Manage your workforce but avoid micromanaging them. Provide room for them to share their thoughts and views on how they could improve their jobs, and the company as a whole. Recognize their suggestions and contributions, such as posting their names on an internal bulletin board or sending them commendation letters and congratulatory notes or emails. Whenever possible, broadcast their achievements to the rest of the team. They will be motivated to continue perform at a high level, and their recognition will inspire others to do the same.
Always acknowledge the value of teamwork. Develop steering committees to work on various organizational initiatives and projects. This can foster co-operation and help drive productivity, as well as create a more positive work environment.
Your employees will welcome your support and encouragement when it comes to developing and expanding their skills. You can set them up in training programs that might otherwise be costly to them as individuals, but for you the ROI will prove to be positive for your business. You should also examine your compensation package and consider ramping it up. There are cost-effective ways to do so, such as:
- Casual Friday or Jeans Day
- Participation in sport activities such as a charity run (which can also double as an advertisement)
- Allow telecommuting or working at home, which will help the company save on energy, supplies, and even office space
- Involve your staff in relevant professional associations, depending on their expertise
- Health insurance extended to family members
Motivated employees are a valuable asset in an organization. Motivation is a matter of coming up with innovative ways to spur your staff on and encourage them to work to their strengths. Designing attractive incentive programs without breaking the bank while still managing to solidify your workforce and potentially improve profits. Be sure to celebrate wins, and remember that the ability to develop a unique corporate culture is in your hands.
M. Beltran | DBPC Blog