5 Ways to Improve Morale and Productivity at the Same Time
What’s best for your employees is often what’s best for you and your company too. Keeping them happy and with purpose will also help them to be their most productive selves. So, just follow these mutually beneficial tips and help everyone return to doing the good work.
1. Build a Competent Team
Assemble your best workers, and then trust them to get the job done. There’s nothing wrong about checking in with them from time to time, but don’t hover over your employees’ or co-workers’ shoulders. It breeds a sense of mistrust and contempt in the office, which will inevitably backfire and shoot down your productivity. Instead, communicate in an open and transparent manner with them about what’s expected from them, as well as what they can expect from you. Basically, give your people the job, the resources, and the parameters, and then just get out of their way, but stay close enough to offer assistance if it’s requested.
2. Get Feedback from Your Employees and Co-Workers, Then Implement It
These are the people who have to work under or alongside you day in and day out. If many of them find working with you to be irritating, cumbersome, or exasperating, then you may need to change something about yourself. Yet, only your closest work friends will have the moxie to actually tell you that they have an issue with your work or managerial style. So, you may need to ask for responses via an anonymous survey to get the feedback you’re seeking. At worst, your employees will be honest, tell you what they find problematic, and you’ll have ideas of what to fix. And at best, you’ll discover that your employees find you agreeable, but the simple fact that you genuinely asked for their input will give them a greater sense of respect for your leadership.
3. Make Sure Your Employees’ Goals and Your Company’s Goals Align
Whenever you hire somebody, you should always ask what their goals are for themselves. If someone’s applying for an investment banking job, but he really wants to write Young Adult novels for a living, odds are pretty good that your goals don’t align. It’s only a matter of time before his heart will pull his head away from the task you’ve assigned him, and he’ll no longer feel like he’s learning from or being fulfilled by his work. Every one of us wants to feel that our work has a higher purpose – that our jobs are more than just jobs – so be sure to share your company’s vision with your employees, and then make sure they’re on board to help make it a reality.
4. Walk and Talk with Your Team Members
Steve Jobs was famous amongst his colleagues for his walking meetings. He’d meet up with other high-level executives in stiff suits and ask them to take a walk with him in a park not far from Apple’s headquarters. And out of these meetings came the ideas for some of the company’s greatest inventions. Borrow a lesson from one of the greats and adopt this practice. Your employees will feel valued by your asking them to share in this unique, out-of-office experience with you. And getting out of the desk chair to move around for a bit has great health benefits for the body and wonderful outlook benefits for the mind. So take your meetings to the streets. You’ll be surprised by how much more easily your ideas flow when you’re expressing them while walking on two feet, surrounded by fresh air, and taking in all that a non-sterile environment has to offer.
5. Recognize Employees for Their Efforts
People are only motivated by money to a certain extent. Once their basic needs are met by it, they start seeking employment for other, higher reasons. They want to work for a company that makes a difference, or one that does great work that gets recognized and even rewarded for its uniqueness and unparalleled quality. Along the same lines, your employees want recognition as much as you want your company to be recognized. So compliment your employees publicly for a job well done. Celebrate their accomplishments and awards, both on the job and off. Make sure they know that their quality work and input is valued at your company. Otherwise, they may start looking for other companies and managers that do.