Ah, staff. If ever there was a love-hate relationship, it’s between a boss and their staff. Strong, happy employees are vital to the success of a company, so keeping them happy and productive is vital. Unfortunately, many bosses are unsure of how to do this, especially during the long term. So we’ve come up with some tips that will help.
We Are Family
Don’t think of employees as cattle that come in and keep your grass short before your turf them to the abattoir. Try to foster a family atmosphere in the office by keeping the tone light and breezy and allowing people a certain level of freedom like you would a cousin or niece. By making people feel welcome and by encouraging work place friendships, people will be much more likely to want to come into work each morning to see their second ‘family’.
Know Their Situations
Each employee is an individual with a unique set of circumstances that you must familiarise yourself with. You need to know if someone is a part-time student or, say, if someone is having marital problems, etc. You have to be able to speak with people and assure them of their role in the company in difficult times and be more lenient if someone’s personal life is intruding on their work.
Rein them In
Allowing your employees the freedom that I have stated here can backfire if they start to take your good nature for granted and so you have to make sure they still know who is boss. A good way to do this is to keep an eye on the communications within the office. If you click here you will see software that allows you to monitor how they’re using the phones and email, etc. When people know they are being watched they are far more likely to knuckle down and get some work done.
People are suckers for incentives. I’ll pretty much do anything for a free meal and chances are your staff are the same. Incentives to work harder can come in many forms, from monetary, to days out, to extra paid holiday; whatever you can think of really. Dangle it in the water and see which fish are the most eager to please.
Humans are weak, let’s face it, and as a species we need constant validation that we’re worth something and that our time on Earth isn’t being wasted filling in spreadsheets and listening to Jane from accounting talk about her poodles dodgy bowels. When an employee does something well and proves themselves to be beneficial to the company, then celebrate them. Don’t just say ‘well done’, but instead make a show of it, make them feel like they are worth something and that you have noticed this. They’ll be a lot more forgiving when you make them work on a Saturday or do some other generally nasty boss thing.
Treat your employees like humans and equals and you won’t go far wrong.