For every business staff feeling and morale are important, and it is good to have a good line of communication with the staff. This will allow you to monitor the mood amongst the workforce, and hopefully, then enable you to avoid issues before they grow and cause real concern. Sometimes it is difficult to judge how things are practically working on the ground from the boardroom or management office. It is vital to remember that the buck stops with you as management. However, even allowing staff to feel that there is a mechanism by which they can be involved can boost morale.
How To Choose Management
There are essentially two schools of thought on how to choose management for your business. These are to promote from within or to hire externally. Both methods have their advantages, and it perhaps depends on the type of business you run. Hiring from within gets you staff you are familiar with; they also know the system and won’t need retraining. On the flip side, external hires are likely to bring higher levels of qualification and even offer a fresh perspective on the running of the company.
Have Systems For Staff Suggestions
Even if you hire management from within, there will be a load of staff who have insights and opinions that could be invaluable to you. As a bare minimum, you should offer a suggestions box or email address, and make sure you read these and at least consider them. To go a little further, you could have regular team meetings where operations and future suggestions are discussed and played out.
Communication & Collaboration
Often the suggestions and ideas put forward by your staff may not be viable as they suggest. If you are going in a different direction than one that is popular with the workers, such as implementing a healthy eating drive. Be sure to communicate the business reasons why this is the case. Where possible, allow the ground-level staff to be involved in the implementation of whatever projects are selected to go ahead. Project management is key when trying to keep track of who is working on what project and what workflows certain individuals are involved with. Agile Methodology can help with this as it emphasizes people rather than processes.
Give Incentives to be Involved
Not all staff are going to automatically have the desire to get involved and offer opinions on every subject up for discussion. So how to get them motivated to do so? Incentives and prizes can be one way, it’s not uncommon for companies to offer the best design or idea competition. It doesn’t even need to be the staff who come up with the idea. You could offer a poll where everyone picks the best out of a series of options, this can be incentivized by entering every participant in a prize draw. You will need to carefully balance how often or how lavish the prizes are given out and what the cost to the organization is. You do not want to make the offering so low-key as to not gather much interest in the scheme.
To Allow Union Presence or Not?
One big question in the modern workplace is whether to allow the staff to organize and form a union or be part of a larger one already in existence? Current thinking errs towards the gut reaction of banning unions, as they will lobby hard for higher pay and could end up striking if their demands are not met. This could be true, although a striking workforce is a rarity that only really happens in an extreme circumstance. If you consider, alternatively, how allowing union presence could be beneficial to attracting good staff then you could turn the situation on its head. You would be showing that you have nothing to fear from demands for better conditions, as you already provide them, and it shows you are willing to enter into a dialogue with your workers over a matter of importance to them.
Explain Decision Making
Transparency is always a positive when trying to nurture any relationship, and this is no different in an employer/employee situation. Even if it seems obvious, take the time to explain the decision and what process you took to get to it. This process is especially true if a decision is likely to be unpopular or cause upset as if you are at least showing you are not hiding away and are accountable to the staff.