In today's competitive world, companies are striving to keep their employees motivated and happy so that the workplace is like their next home, where employees feel esteemed, content and needed. A satisfied employee breeds positivity in the workplace environment which leads to customer satisfaction and growth.
Here are some ways to keep your staff empowered and engaged maximizing productivity:
The physical layout of a workplace is very important for employee productivity. Some setups thrive where employees have open space for effective communication whereas others prefer a much quieter, personal space without distractions.
Provide employees with the right tools, equipment, and technology to streamline tasks and increase effective communication. Cultivate a healthy work environment where employees do not "˜backstab' each other, develop ego issues or involve in gossiping. Give employees the liberty of personalizing their workspace.
Know your employees:
It is vital to know your employee's personal and professional background; a single parent has a different drive to work than a college student or an employee who is also a caretaker. Understand your employee's needs and treat them like your extended family. Just like family members can have disagreements, but their involvement and feedback is of utmost importance for the smooth running of the family, similarly your employees should feel secure that they have your backing and you will always stand by them. It can be an added advantage if you can offer day care services and elder care assistance or referrals for your employees.
Allow corporate breathing space to help minimize burnout by eliminating cumbersome procedures and stupid rules such as approvals to deal with day-to-day issues. Flexible schedules increase employee's happiness as they are able to establish a work-life balance. Working flexible hours or remotely can enable employees to attend to a sick child, fulfill caretaking duties towards an aging parent, attend a child's school events or to pursue a sport. Such an incentive decreases absenteeism and helps develop trust and reliance.
Allow employees to step away from their work and take small breaks so they can unwind and network with fellow employees. Offer healthy food choices in the cafeteria or break room where employees can enjoy free food, snacks, and coffee/tea.
Train and establish goals:
Employees should have a clear know how of the company policies and their responsibilities so that they are not confused and lost as to what is the next step. Train, support and guide your employees and encourage them to ask questions when not clear about something. Allow them to make decisions where their work areas are concerned.
Staying focused especially when a deadline has to be met is more important than answering every call or e-mail. Establish short term and long term goals with the employee's involvement and implement a plan of action to attain those goals. A personal and documented commitment from employees will keep everyone on track, streamline actions and clarify duties.
Inspire and communicate:
Encourage healthy competition by offering small incentives and bonuses. Welcome opinions and suggestions so that the employees feel their voice is being heard, but make your word the final say. Conduct regular meetings to discuss performance, critical issues and essential tasks required for success.
When times are stressed, keep the environment positive by eliminating unprofessional and abrasive behavior. Use "˜personal touch' while talking to employees on a one-to-one basis. Listening and respecting your employees keeps them loyal, motivated and committed towards the company's goals.
Create an atmosphere where employees are pleased to be a part of a productive workforce; eager to contribute and face any economic storm. Be a role model and work with them as a team.
Lower employee stress by discouraging favoritism, negativity, unfairness, a highly political and strict environment that can drain mental energy. Cross-train employees to increase productivity, follow the SCARF model that subconsciously influences employee output; Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness.
Acknowledge and celebrate positive contributions from employees, present them with a "˜star employee' or "˜employee of the month' award.
Host special employee events involving their families like picnics, workshops, or play as a team for the benefit of a volunteer organization or orphanage to keep employees humble and socially connected.
"if you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don't have to be pushed. The vision pulls you."