Employee productivity is the foundation of a business’ success. Smart business owners know that they have to motivate, train, reward top performers, and steer those who get off course back to where they need to be.
Are Your Employees Engaged?
The world, it seems, has become increasingly dangerous over the past few years, and people are worried. They are concerned about their families—particularly the elderly and fragile because the pandemic fears, though subsiding, continue. Employees also are concerned about their finances as prices continue to climb. Work stress can quickly turn into the reason your top performers leave your business.
If your star employees are losing their mojo, it’s time for a conversation. You may struggle to get information from them; this can be an indication that your position intimidates them. Change up your location. Get a coffee, get out for a walk around the block, or go grab lunch. They may be angry, despairing, or just tired. Be open; their productivity may be quickly freed up by one tough conversation.
Are Your Employees Getting the Right Training?
Support your employees with seminars that expand their knowledge base, show them clear paths to advancement, and create opportunities for cross-team training.
If you have a spreadsheet whiz who wants to understand marketing and a marketer who wants to learn how do make pivot tables, some shoulder-to-shoulder training could improve both productivity and relationships. Let them set the education schedule and ensure both report back to their colleagues what they’ve learned. Be aware of different learning styles; some folks need to break things and then fix them to really understand how something works. Give them time.
Provide The Best Tools
Good leaders make sure everyone on the team has the resources to do the jobs they are expected to do. Whether its technology or business intelligence, it needs to get to the people who need it to be productive. A multi-user license for tech updates and support is a great start. If you’re going to allow some team members to work from home, make sure they have access to support and quality devices and secure connections with the business.
As remote work trends increasingly to the new normal, cybersecurity training is an absolute must. As your network expands, it creates more vulnerabilities, and hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in breaking in to compromise systems and steal data and corrupt processes. It might make sense to engage a cybersecurity vendor to provide staff training.
Do Schedules Promote Work-Family Balance?
Does everyone in your firm work from 8 to 5? Is that still a valid schedule? If your staff is split between remote and on-site workers take a look at your schedule expectations.
You may well have support staff who need to work from 8 to 5; it works best for them and their families. You may also have some staff who would love to
- shorten their lunch and work from 6:30 to 3
- cut out their lunch break and work from 10 to 6
- come in at 5 to access data from a different time zone
As the workforce grows younger, businesses also must cope with different work styles. The workforce is more generationally diverse than ever before, and the different demographics have different ideas of a healthy work-life balance. Parents with small children may need a different schedule than those close to retirement. Be aware that this is not a change that you can impose without some pushback. Offer your willingness to consider these changes and see what blooms.
Is Information on Critical Takes Shared?
Not every member of your management or leadership team will be busy at the same time. If you have one member of management who is facing a big deadline to serve a difficult client, make sure staff and support are aware of this. Like it or not, this manager’s projects will need to come to the top of the priority list. If everyone is aware, everyone can communicate and share the load if that makes sense.
This habit of sharing can have a positive long-term impact. Not only will these managers get on-time support, but shared ownership of tough projects will increase the chance that such challenges will get timely help next year as well. Great communication improves buy-in.