How to Help Your Employees Do Their Best Work
There are innumerable things one can do to encourage one’s team to greater success. Each employee is unique and needs different things from his/her boss, but these four action points can really make a massive difference for all of them no matter who they are.
1) Be positive.
When employees are doing something inaccurately, use the moment to be positive and supportive. Positive reinforcement, according to Dr. Christopher L. Heffner of AllPsych: Psych Central’s Virtual Psychology Classroom, is like, “adding something in order to increase a response. For example,… adding praise will increase the chances of your,” employee doing something the first time you ask him/her to change his/her behavior.
2) Give public, verbal reinforcement.
Giving compliments to someone are one thing. Giving compliments to someone in front of others is another. Doing the latter of the two not only makes the employee feel good about their work, it makes them feel good about who they are. This type of praise can lead to further praise by co-workers and subordinates. Your employees will almost always have a positive response to this and think more highly of you as their “higher-up” when it is not something confidential about them that you are publicizing.
3) Make company policies clear.
When company policies are not made clear, employees can get themselves into a lot of trouble and cause the company a lot of heartache. This can come in the form of an employee not using the correct chain of command to get approval for certain actions. For example, if during a company-wide meeting an executive in the company, Bob, says to everyone to reach out to him personally to discuss ways to improve sales within the company, but you, as their manager, know the employees on your team should go to you first to vet their ideas before going to Bob, it is your duty to do something about it. Otherwise, their actions will be your fault. So, it is not only your duty as the manager to go to your employees and tell them the correct chain of command to use, it is also your responsibility to inform Bob of the confusion so he can clarify what he meant to the company. Having various instructions from various people within a company leads employees to confusion. Subsequently, they could do all types of things they shouldn’t. Let them know that coming to you first is always the procedure for ideas they have and, furthermore, they should not go to other people in the company first before you unless it has to do with HR.
4) Award their good work.
Going along with point number two, employees thrive in environments where their work is appreciated and specifically noticed. Use the tried and true “Employee of the Month” award as one way to address this need. Instead of just offering the award, having the company clap, and moving on, keep a list of good work done by each person on your team each month. At the end of each month, send each respective employee’s list to each employee for his/her own enjoyment. This will encourage them to do even better work. Share the list you made for the employee who won Employee of the Month with everyone in the company during the award ceremony. This will not only make them feel amazing and cared for by their company, it will also encourage other employees to do work well enough to win the award and receive the same type of publicized praise.
This is a great place to start. If you are looking to go above and beyond for your employees, offer annual awards, as well, for things such like the employee with the highest amount of revenue earned for the company that year.
Implementing these four habits will definitely put your employees and you on the path of greater and greater success. You can’t go wrong with these!