It can be argued that people are the true foundation of any business, and not the product or service it provides. Employees, for that matter, are essentially a business owner’s most valuable asset. Treated with care and respect, they have the potential to take a business to the next level. However, neglecting your team can have an equally disastrous impact. The real key lies in how they are managed, or – more importantly – lead. It is the boss’s responsibility to make sure employees are satisfied, and working in a capacity that benefits the company.
However, happiness is such a subjective term. How can anyone conceivably cater to the needs of every employee? How can one person reach their entire team, and in a way that fosters a more productive work environment? Is it even possible?
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, “There are countless studies highlighting the links between strong employee morale and satisfaction and customer satisfaction.” For all intents and purposes, a happy employee is a good employee.
If you are looking for a way to foster a more productive work environment and get the most out of your employees, look no further. Our partners over at CT Homes have found that these are some of the best ways to get the most out of their team members:
Lead By Example
It is entirely possible to be a good manager, and – at the same – fall short of becoming a good leader. For what it’s worth, these two words are not interchangeable, and each carries their own expectations. Managers, as their name suggests, manage people. A good manager is capable of managing projects and a respective workload. They see to it that things get done on time. To that end, there is no reason to suggest that managers can’t run a successful company. However, true leaders elicit more from their employees than a typical manager. Leaders have the inherent ability to lead, and – in doing so – inspire. A good leader can instill a sense of empowerment, or confidence, that increases the productivity of individual employees. It is the difference between simply working for someone, and wanting to work for someone. Are you a good manager or a respected leader? Both can result in success, but true leaders are capable of so much more.
I am of the belief that nothing can empower employees quite like confidence. And there is no better way to instill confidence in those you work with than engaging with them on multiple levels. Don’t be afraid to listen and show that you care about your employees’ work, concerns and aspirations. Yes – business is business, but showing that you have a more personal side can go long way in establishing a proper working rapport with one another. Employees are more inclined to be productive and engaged when they know their voices are being heard. I recommend scheduling regular social outings. Set aside some time for a team lunch or social event that will allow you to reconnect with your employee base outside of work. Try getting everyone together at the next football game, or even something as simple as a potluck.
Business owners and entrepreneurs within every industry are more than likely familiar with the concept of potential. There is a good chance they wouldn’t be where they are today without tapping into their own. To that end, business owners looking to get the most out of their employees should be well aware of the potential rewards that coincide with empowering them. There is perhaps no better way to maximize an employee’s potential than to give them a strong sense of well-being. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, don’t hesitate to let the right employees make some decisions independently of yours. When you place your trust in the right person, especially one that you have a good relationship with, they are more likely to make the right call.
Not unlike potential, creativity can serve as the catalyst of your businesses’ next great idea. However, that idea will never come to fruition if you don’t foster creativity in others. Encourage creativity, just as you would a person’s potential. There will always be new challenges that await you, and endless ways to approach them; feel free to let your employees get creative in solving everyday issues. Eventually, their ability will shine through, resulting in a more efficient work place.
Appreciation; it’s such a simple gesture, but few phrases have the ability to evoke more genuine feelings than a simple thank you. In fact, a little appreciation can generate a lot of good will. Employees, for that matter, are more inclined to reciprocate their appreciation if you just show a little gratitude. Their appreciation can easily translate into a more productive work environment. After all, nobody wants to work where his or her efforts go unrecognized.