Monthly Archives: June 2014

Best Practice for Keeping Employees Happy

Satisfied, pleased worker is treated well

Workers who feel listened to, rewarded and involved will be happier and more productive. Image courtesy of stockimages and freedigitalphotos.net

  • Invite employees to take a satisfaction survey about their jobs and work environment. Pay attention to the results – there may be things you can implement with next to no cost, such as casual dress Fridays, which will change your employees’ perceptions of their working life.
  • Trust your employees to do a good job. Most employees do not like to be micro managed, and will do well if you give them space and let them get on with their work.
  • Promote a good work and life balance; appreciate that they have lives outside of work and do what you can to help, for example allowing flexible working schedules or allow them to work from home when circumstances are appropriate. If their child is sick, they will work better at home knowing they are on hand than they would in the office where they are likely to be distracted. It’s good to encourage employees to socialise with one another within the workplace too at planned events. It helps the cohesion of the team and gives a chance to award recognition to those who have worked hard. A company gathering for holidays shows respect for your team.
  • Provide opportunities for professional development. You could invest in training for a qualification which would benefit you both. It’s important you provide your workers with development so they are getting something from their time working for you, but you will also see the returns on this when their performance improves.
  • Keep your workers in the loop about your business! Nothing smacks of lack of respect more than if you found some news out about your company from the newspaper, online or from your competition, and not from your manager. Keep everyone involved or they will not feel valued.
  • Include staff in reviews to how the business is run; it directly affects them, so listening to them will not only show them they are valued but will give you the best possible insight into what the right solution is.
  • Reward and praise high performing employees, it makes them feel valued and encourages good performance for the future!
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5 Tips to Help Ensure Training Transfers to the Workplace

training on target, meeting goals

Training works best if everyone knows their targets! Image courtesy of jscreationzs and freedigitalphotos.net

If you consider the amount of money you spend on training and development each year, and then consider the results you have seen as a consequence in changes to your employees behaviour, do the two match up?

It’s likely that they don’t equate and although the training may have appeared to have been of good quality, it did not transfer useful information and skills into the workplace. So what can you do to help this happen before training starts?

1. Assess the problem you are looking to solve and whether training is the most suitable solution. You could be throwing money at a problem which will not improve from a training session, perhaps your workers need different resources, more time or more support to improve. A good training provider should tell you honestly whether their programs will be an apt solution for your problem.

2. Communicate with your delegates about the training so they know what to expect and what is expected of them. Tell them why the training is needed and what you are looking to achieve so delegates can align their targets with yours and understand the weaknesses they need to focus on during training. It might seem obvious to point out what the training is for, but by speaking to your workers personally it shows you respect them, and will show them that this is important to the company. It will motivate them for the training session and align what they ought to target.

3. Provide your workers with pre-training assessments to promote thoughtful consideration of the content you’ll be covering. This can be useful to get their minds going about you’ll be covering, but can also double as a measurement gauge for the progress your participants make by quizzing them on their comfort levels towards the subjects.

4. Train your managers and supervisors alongside the other delegates so they know what is being taught and can model ideal behavior to help your delegates apply what they have learnt to their workplace. A change or consistency in the supervisor’s behavior will set a precedent, showing there is an expectation that this is how they are now expected to behave. It’s also a mistake to think that supervisors will know what good training looks like as many of them will not have experienced quality training which takes skills into the workplace.

5. Go for training which has measurable objectives and reachable targets. If there are clear objectives then you can objectively say when a delegate has achieved what was required from the training, and whether the training has been successful. This will also provide the employee with satisfaction and motivation when they can tick off what they have achieved.

How To Make Targets That You Can Achieve

on target, bulls eye

A SMART target is more likely to be reached. Image courtesy of Keerati and freedigitalphotos.net

If you’re struggling to meet your targets, it might not be you or your team that’s the problem, but the targets themselves and how you view them. It’s all very well having a goal, but is it the right kind of goal? And have you got a plan to reach that goal?

Some people argue that SMART targets are out of date, but I think there will always be something to say for a target that meets these criteria, even if you only use it as a starting point.

S – Specific. The target must have focus; if it is vague then it’s harder to address where exactly you’re going.

M – Measurable. Your goal must have a completion point. Even a long-term goal really ought to be reachable, so you know when you have got there, and can assess your progress along the way. If you cannot tell if you’re heading in the right direction, it will be demotivating and fairly pointless!

A – Agreed. Goals and targets which you set with colleagues or for a team should be something everyone has consensus on. Not only does that validate the target as being worthwhile and right for the company, but it means everyone in the team shares a perspective and will reduce the risk of future disagreements.

R – Relevant. Consider whether the target is worth your time – is it the right move for your business at the moment? Does it fit in with the larger business plan? Make sure it fits in with the other things you are doing and is the right choice before investing in the planning and execution of reaching your goal.

T – Time-bound. It’s always a good motivator to give yourself a deadline if there isn’t one associated with the target already. By creating an end point you will have a better idea of when the various stages must be completed and this will keep the progress of the project turning over.

Gaining Trust & Compliance from Workers in 6 Steps

leader is celebrated

Gaining the respect of your workers is give and take but makes you all a better team. Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Motivating people below you to follow out the plans you have for them relies on respect. For them to comply with your ideas and wishes, they have to respect you and what you have to say. We’ve got a few suggestions for getting people on board.

1. Treat your workers with respect

If you listen to them, they will listen to you. It’s a simple fact that people are more likely to work hard for someone they like to be around, and someone they feel actually appreciates them. So show them that you value their place on the team by showing them respect and making time for them.

2. Practice what you preach

If you’re advising your team to push towards a deadline, and then spend 2 hours away from your desk at lunch, then you’re not really passing on the message that this is a very important deadline! If you don’t care about something, then why should your team? If you want to motivate your team, the best way is to lead by example. Skip idle chit chatter in the office, and remain professional and focused.

3. Provide instruction in a respectful way

The mutual respect doesn’t end when you start handing out the jobs. There are ways you can make tasks seem more appealing, by handing over an element of control to the worker. Allow them to take some responsibility for the job, and in turn you show them that you trust their choice and judgement. Show them that you empathize with their position, that you understand their workload, their skill set and what they like doing when delegating. It will give a likeable personal touch.

4. Take responsibility for your actions

It’s important to accept when you have made an error and find a way of making it right. No one likes someone who blows their own trumpet, but by taking responsibility for both good and bad actions, you are again leading by example and showing others that their actions can make a difference and can reflect well on them.

5. Give credit when it is due

If someone on your team is really pulling their weight and has impressed you, you need to let them know. Rewarding those who go the extra mile encourages everyone to do the same, and will also feed back into the mutual respect between you and your colleagues. Relish in their success as if it were your own, which will strengthen your relationships as a team. Providing good feedback to workers is fair, honest, and earns you respect. It’s an attribute of a great leader too!

6.Keep employees involved in the company

You can make employees feel valued by asking for ideas and opinions on key company decisions. This will increase their sense of worth and value to the team, and can also show you more about your team’s strengths and skills! You may find someone you were looking for, to fill a more senior position in the company.