Running a business comes with many challenges, but perhaps the most challenging part is effectively managing your team. The process of scouting talent and placing them in the right positions is tough enough, but how do you keep them happy and motivated?
Here are 7 tips to help you get the most out of your team.
Build a Strong Culture
Building a strong culture starts with having a solid foundation. You must have clearly defined goals and a mission statement that embodies what you stand for and your plan of action. Each member of your team should understand the purpose of your organization and what is expected of them.
Be totally transparent about your rules, processes, and procedures. Ensure that everyone has a complete understanding of how your organization works from disciplinary issues to your reward system.
It’s also important for you and your management team to practice what you preach. It’s unrealistic to expect your team to follow you if your actions don’t reflect the community and culture you thrive to build.
This sets the tone for a professional work environment where productivity is the top priority.
Create a Healthy Work Environment
One interesting factor that has an impact on employee performance is the ambiance. Psychologists believe that a good ambiance keeps employees happier and more motivated. To enhance the ambiance of your office, consider things like:
- Natural light
- Comfortable temperature settings
- Wall décor
- Paint color
- Cleanliness and organization
Also, encourage breaks and provide a comfortable space where your employees can decompress. Keep this area stocked with healthy snacks and drinks and allow them to vote on the type of refreshments they want.
To ensure that everything isn’t always uptight, inject a little fun into the office. Occasionally surprise your team with breakfast or lunch, have a surprise company outing during work hours, or maybe let them leave early some Fridays to get a jump on the weekend.
No matter how beautiful your office is, nothing is more exciting to some employees than the option to work from home. A hybrid work environment can be a tremendous morale booster and have a positive effect on productivity.
Many companies lose high performers because of changes in their family dynamics. High-performing employees often understand that they have options. Providing a flexible work environment shows that you value them, and they will be more inclined to stay.
Effective communication may be the most important element to getting the most out of your team. For smaller companies, regular face-to-face communication is good, but it becomes more challenging as your team grows.
To make certain you are connecting with each of your team members on a regular basis, incorporate a software like Monday.com, Basecamp, Trello, etc. to easily share information such as:
- Company news
- Performance metrics
- Internal company newsletters
- Personal messages
- Team member recognition
Having a single place where everyone can communicate helps reduce the chances of information being lost or misplaced.
Employee Feedback is Vital
Effective communication is a two-way process. When your team can confidently express themselves and they know you will listen, they become more invested in the organization and are willing to do more.
Too often, business owners wait until the annual review before they hear what their employees have to say or what’s on their minds. Create an environment where two-way communication is encouraged throughout the year. This can help you mediate small issues before they fester into major problems and give you more insight into things that you can and/or should be implemented throughout the year.
Some methods to acquire team feedback include:
- Suggestion Box in the breakroom
- Feedback link or dedicated email address within your company intranet
Trust Your Team with More
For employees that show interest or a desire to do more, allow them to tackle tasks outside of their normal responsibilities. For many business owners, this is easier said than done, but when you have been in constant communication with your team, you should have a good understanding of their strengths and limitations. Use this knowledge to help you decide which tasks they should be able to do efficiently.
Also, resist the urge to micromanage. This is where it can become challenging for you as the business owner. Using a project management tool will allow you to stay in the loop without being overbearing. Exercise patience and trust them to get the job done. Showing your team that you believe in them increases morale and often boosts productivity.
Continous Team Training
Training and development are vital to the success of your organization. When each team member can proficiently perform their job and they’re constantly learning new skills, it creates an atmosphere of growth and stability.
Training and development should be continuous, consisting of informal as well as formal training. You or a senior staff member should always be exploring new and better ways to perform tasks with team members. In addition to in-house training, many business owners like to bring in outside experts for group training sessions. It can either be to learn a totally different skill or to give them a different perspective from someone outside of the organization.