By Shamil Shamilov, managing partner at dNOVO Group.
Productivity in the workplace can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that a few key aspects can make all the difference.
Employees who feel valued and respected are more likely to be productive. Traditional business leaders may chalk it up to good ol’ “employee morale,” but there’s actually a lot more to it than just morale.
Here are five aspects of management you should consider:
1. Have a sense of “extreme ownership” and don’t get too emotional.
As a leader, your number one priority is to get things done. To do that, you need to have a sense of “extreme ownership,” which means taking complete responsibility for everything that happens on your watch.
It can be tempting to blame others when things go wrong, but doing so not only makes you look bad but also undermines your authority and erodes your respect among your team.
Let’s say you’re having a problem with unfinished work and low productivity within your team. It is up to you to talk to your team to understand the roadblocks preventing them from getting their work done.
2. Be more flexible about work arrangements; focus on results instead.
In this day and age, there’s no reason employees should have to be chained to their desks. With the advent of technology, more and more people are opting to work remotely. And for companies, there are several benefits to allowing that, including increased productivity.
The pandemic taught us that we can be productive even when we’re not in the office–I’ve seen it firsthand. Going forward, leaders should focus on results rather than face time–the key is finding a balance that works for you and your employees.
Some people thrive in an office setting, while others do better working from home. Ultimately, it’s important to be flexible and allow your employees to work in a way that’s best for them but adds value to the business.
3. Recognize employee individuality and leverage their strengths.
Every person brings their unique skills and abilities to the table, and each has a different personality. As a leader, it’s important to recognize each team member’s individuality and leverage their strengths.
Some people work better under pressure, while others need more time to complete a task. Some people are better at coming up with ideas, while others are better at putting those ideas into action.
It’s also important to give each team member ownership over their work. In my experience, when people feel invested in a project, they’re more likely to do their best work. So, let each team member take the lead on one or two tasks. This can give them a sense of ownership and responsibility and get you better results.
While constructive criticism is needed at work, keep in mind that it is best done individually, not in front of others. Consider that while some often do not see how impactful an error or oversight can be, others may be overly critical of themselves, especially if they did something wrong. Every member of the team needs to be handled differently.
You may generalize how “we” as a team make mistakes and may improve, while also emphasizing what was accomplished well. For some, this may be enough. For those who require more perspective, you may convey a sense of disappointment rather than anger or irritation. You may also express it by saying, “I was hoping it would be finished on time since we were counting on it. However, we can work together to find a solution.”
This way, you show that you trust your team member’s abilities while also setting expectations.
4. Provide motivation and opportunities for growth.
LinkedIn reveals that up to 94% of employees would stay longer in a company that gives them opportunities for learning, skill development and professional growth.
There are many ways to do this:
o Offer training and development opportunities. Let employees know you’re invested in their growth and development by providing them with opportunities to learn new skills and take on new challenges. You can loop them in on important meetings and strategy sessions, send them to a conference or assign them a special project.
o Encourage a healthy work-life balance. Employees who feel they have a good work-life balance are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. So, ensure your employees have the flexibility to take care of their personal lives. The last thing you want is for your employees to feel that their career growth is inversely proportional to their personal growth, so encourage a healthy balance.
5. Offer incentives and sporadic rewards.
While a reward system that encourages and recognizes measurable progress may be beneficial, sometimes a little extra appreciation can go a long way. A surprise bonus or financial incentive can make all the difference between a happy and motivated team and a dissatisfied one.
Whether it’s a staff trip, random rewards or gifts, or simple thank you notes, these small tokens of appreciation can boost employee morale and keep your team engaged. Depending on what you’re willing to shell out, you can splurge on tech stuff they can use at work (like iPads) or give them travel vouchers, gift cards or other fun experiences.
If you want to get creative, offer unique incentives like a day off, flexible work hours or the ability to work from home. It’s also important to remember that not all rewards need to be materialistic. A simple thank you or public recognition can also go a long way in making your employees feel appreciated.
Overall, employee retention is a huge challenge for businesses today, but it can be overcome with the right strategy. By creating a positive work environment, offering opportunities for growth and providing incentives and rewards, you can keep your best employees happy and engaged.
It goes without saying that satisfied employees are likely to become productive employees, and productive employees are the key to a successful business. Leadership is always challenging, but with the right approach, it can be extremely rewarding.