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The best ways to get the most out of your employees

Managing staff is often one of the hardest parts of running a business. Do you take a hard line? Or do you try to be everyone's friend, in the hope that they will work hard if they like you? While there must be some rules, being too strict and unapproachable often leaves you with unhappy, unproductive staff. Here are some great tips to help you get the most out of your staff.

Be straightforward

Have simple systems in place. Things don’t need to be complicated. If you want them to clock in on time, offer simple, easy to use employee time clocks. If you want them to keep records of their work or of any cleaning or health and safety checks make sure you put in place straightforward record keeping strategies, and that any files and equipment they need are well stocked and easy to find. This will make everyone’s life easier.

Set clear expectations and communicate them

This is one of the biggest mistakes managers make. They expect their staff to perform and behave in a certain way. But they don’t tell them. Set clear goals, both in terms of sales, personal performance and improvements. These targets might not be the same for everyone, so communicate with your team individually. Hold regular progress meetings to make sure everyone is still on track.

Be attentive

Listen to your staff. If they need something to help them to do their job, try your best to make that happen. If they are going through something personally, be someone that they can confide in and then offer them support. Sometimes, this may mean giving them some time off, or reducing their workload. In the long term, it’s a cheaper solution than them leaving and you needing to train someone else.

Know that everyone is different

You can’t treat all of your staff the same. Some respond well to a friendly approach whereas others need firmer guidance. Get to know your staff and learn to modify your own behaviors to suit their needs. This is the best way to create a truly productive team.

Offer positive feedback

We’re often quick to criticize and not offer praise and positive feedback in the work place. Make sure you do. Reward your staff. Make it clear that you have noticed their hard work. Make them feel valued. This will increase their loyalty, and their desire to work.

Be a role model

Your staff will follow your example. So, the best way to motivate them is to work hard, too. Go the extra mile. Don’t act like there are jobs that are beneath you. If your team needs help, let them see that you are happy to get stuck in, too. This will motivate and increase their respect for you tremendously.

Happy employees often make the most productive ones. But, at the same time, you need to have clear boundaries and rules in place. Be approachable and friendly, but know that you won’t always be able to please everyone. Try your best, but don’t let your business suffer so you can be everyone’s friend.

13 Feb 2017 13:01