Going From Good to Great in the Work Place
Productivity, efficiency, and results have always been driving forces in business. Managers have spent decades trying to figure out how to get better results out of their employees. Hundreds of studies have taken place to answer this question. What it comes down to is that everyone has their idea on how to achieve this goal. This article is designed to lay out the ground work to kick start your grand idea that will allow your business to finally achieve more results from what you currently have. We are going to stir things up a bit and show you some of the basic reasons why employees are not interested in achieving great results and would rather settle for being average.
What is Keeping Your Employees From Doing More?
Are your employees settled? Meaning have your employees peaked, are they no longer motivated or interested in volunteering to be part of the next big project? This will happen in every workplace setting. Every manager experiences this throughout their career. As soon as you think your employees have settled it is time to get to work. As a manager you have to ask yourself why this has happened. It is time to brain storm. Is it management, pay, other employees? Finding the root cause is crucial to getting your business back on track. This is the hardest thing to do for managers because you have to get involved. Meaning you have to talk to your employees. This simple method that used to be standard for managers has in recent time been disregarded as common practice. You cannot use “I am the manager and there for better then my employees.” This is poison and nothing but poor performance will come from it. You need to talk to your employees and more importantly you must listen. Unless this is already part of your workplace culture, getting your employees to open up to you will not be easy. You will have to show your employees you care. Ask them the questions and kick start these conversations. It is amazing how the little things will have the biggest effect on employees and morale. I once came across a group of employees that were so mad that there Monday donuts tradition no longer took place. They felt there company was being cheap not paying the $15 to provide everyone with donuts each Monday. What really happened was the manager that originally started the custom had left, and the person who took his place had no idea of the practice. You have to be involved and talk with your workforce. These are the people who are making things happen for you and your results depend on them. Taking the time to find out the little details will play a big role on the productivity of your team.
The culture of your workplace has everything to do with productivity and results. If your culture is to sit back and relax your results will be poor. It is important to know the history of the company you work for. This will give you the insight and reason for the results you are currently obtaining, be it good or bad. From here you can determine what needs to be done. If results are good and above average that’s great, now you have to determine how you will keep things that way. If results are poor and have been poor for a long time, you have to examine why. Changing culture is a hard thing to do. It can be done and there are many success stories out there to prove it. In many situations a company’s culture will be different from location to location. For example, the corporate culture can differ from manufacturing sites or distribution centers. This is where location managers play such a big role. When results differ from location to location it is important to look at what the employees have been exposed to. It could be their leadership, the equipment/technology they are supplied with, or the horrific paintings on the wall that they have to look at all day long. Learning your workplace culture will open you to many possibilities for improvement. Knowing the history of what your employees have been exposed to will allow you to see where the good and bad habits come from.
Give Employees Reason to Improve
What reason do your employees have to produce better results than they are currently generating? To create results you must first set expectations. Expectations will only be met if people are held accountable for their performance. As soon as an employee fails to meet expectations and is not held accountable, your system becomes week. Your workforce is not a bunch of robots, they are people who realize that if they can get away with doing less and slip by without any consequences they will hop on that train and run productivity into the ground. It will happen before you realize it. Accountability is the key to productivity. This is where hardworking managers thrive. Holding others accountable is challenging because it means you will need to monitor results. Once you create an accountability system that can be monitored it is time to show the results to the people that created them. Anytime great work has been done it deserves recognition. Recognition can be bringing your entire team together to explain how incredible the last team project went or simply going up to an individual during work to thank them for their hard work. The little things go a long way and recognition is the simplest way of showing people that they matter and that their work is being done for a reason. Always explain to an individual the importance of what they are working on. Every project going on in your company has some sort of importance. People like to know that what they are doing can make a difference. Show them what that difference is. Your goal is to make your employees want to generate great results without them even thinking about it. By recognizing your employees, explaining the importance of their work, and holding each other accountable, you will slowly begin achieveing better results.
Reflecting on past experiences is a great way to make decisions as a manger. Think about your past bosses and how they treated employees. What things did they do good and bad? Accumulate the good things and throw out the bad. Share these experiences with your coworkers and ask for their input. Let your people be heard and they will make your job much easier. This shows people that you care and that you are actually looking to make a difference. This type of behavior is addicting and it will not take long for others to hop on the band wagon.
Everything mentioned above will not come easy. You will have to be dedicated to your game plan and not give up. Once you feel resistance it is hard to keep pushing. You will have to believe that what you are doing is what’s best for your company. At times you may have to pull aside those that are resisting and explain this to them. If they are still not on board you will have to decide if they are the right people for your team. Not everybody wants to be great. Plenty of people like to fly under the radar without being held accountable. These people will stand out very fast once you begin to change the system. Allow people to be heard, show them you care, hold each other accountable, learn your company’s history, give people reason to be great, use your past experiences, and never forget that your employees are the ones that generate the results. Keep this in mind and you will get the best out of your employees.
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