If you’ve got people that report to you, the pressure is on for your team to perform. And while you want them to work hard, you also know that putting in long hours with no work/life balance is going to make them miserable. So how do you get what you need from them without overworking them? There are certain things you can do to bring your team into perfect harmony. Read on for seven ways to get the most out of your employees.
Most people are goal-oriented by nature, so offering incentives is a no-brainer. It also stimulates a bit of friendly competition, both from their past performances and among the other employees. You can offer cash or other kinds of bonuses once team members reach certain milestones. You can also get creative with incentives. As this Fast Company article notes, an idea bounty is a win/win, as everyone makes fully fleshed-out suggestions to help the company and the best idea gets the incentive. As the article notes, “To build this program into your company’s culture, you could create healthy competition by tracking how many ‘idea bounties’ are awarded to a single employee within a certain period of time.”
Perks for Positivity
While you might think this is the same thing as an incentive, a company perk can come in many different forms. Whether it’s half-day Fridays once a month, remote work on certain days, travel programs, punch cards for local yoga classes, or even in-office social hours ever Friday afternoon, the power of perks is undeniable. The better your team performs, the more perks you can offer. It might feel like you’re dangling a carrot but, hey, that’s really how it all works, isn’t it?
Make Sure They Have What They Need to Succeed
A successful employee is one that never feels like she is without the supplies and technology she needs to succeed. Office supplies like notebooks, pens, printer cartridges and paper, and the like are a given, but you also want to make sure your employees have top-of-the-line equipment to work their magic on. Case in point: give each employee an Intel Core i5 laptop and watch productivity soar. Hell hath no fury like an employee on a deadline that can’t be successful due to poor performing computers or other equipment.
There’s No “I” in Team
We get it. That phrase is a bit cringe-worthy but the truth is that no company will ever succeed if each employee is out for himself or herself. There needs to be a culture that everyone’s voices are not only heard but also valued. The employee suggestion box is the quintessential way this has been done in the past, but you can do it in the form of casual meetings. Set aside time for the aforementioned “idea bounties” and make sure that each employee gets a say in the way things are run. In turn, make sure to implement the good suggestions so employees can see their ideas at work.
Live Up to the Open Door Policy
A lot of managers say that they have an open door policy but trying to nail them down to talk to them can be crazy-making. If you’ve noticed that your schedule has been consistently too busy to take meetings when requested, have your assistant move things around to change this. The alternative is seeing highly qualified employees leave for the competition.
Set the Office Up for Personal and Group Space
A group area for spit balling and white boarding is a must but the best offices also offer places for people to go when they are either on a deadline and need to focus or simply need some space. And if you don’t have the ability to offer this, make a policy that employees can go take a walk and/or grab a coffee as they see fit. As this Inc.com article puts it, “We all have our own ways of getting things done, and to recognize this means you are closer to getting the most productivity out of your team.”
Ensure There’s Room for Advancement
The fastest way to lose employees is for them to hit the glass ceiling. Make sure they have a clear career path and room for advancement. If your employees don’t see what they are working towards, it’s easy for burnout to set in.
Implement these seven ways to get the most out of your employees and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll see positive changes in morale and productivity.