Your company is just as good as your employees. If the people who work for you lack motivation and engagement, they will underperform in any task and won’t produce results. On the other hand, if they’re happy and motivated, they will go above and beyond in embodying the mission of your organization. A company that understands how to empower an employee is a company that understands how to create a better work environment. This productive environment makes a company more likely achieve all its goals and make better profits.
Here are a few hints to improve your employees’ performance and drive them to better results.
1. Provide your employees with feedback
When an employee is given a task, they should know whether the results, good or bad. According to recent surveys, about 60% of people interviewed reported that they would like to receive feedback at least once a week.
Everybody wants feedback… provided it is good. However, even negative feedback is extremely important. If an employee does not know what they did wrong, they will keep repeating their errors over and over. Vice versa, providing them with some praise when they do something good can go a long way by boosting their motivation and commitment. Bottom line, plan regular one-on-one meetings to provide employee feedback instead of just meeting with them once every quarter (or year).
2. Do not push your employees too hard…
Maybe you are a workaholic who never sleeps. Maybe your standards of excellence are so high that you keep demanding more of yourself every day. Although these are great qualities, not all your employees will put work before their private lives to your extent, and that’s ok. Either way, putting too much stress on your employees can lead them to becoming overworked until they reach burnout. Don’t push them too hard. Working with stressed and unhappy people is not going to help you meet your goals because overstressed and over-worked employees are just going to make more mistakes.
3. …but don’t be a pushover either
Some people just take advantage of leaders who try to be “the nice boss.” Listen to your employees and give them your time, but don’t let them pin their work on you. If they need help with something, be sure to give them all your attention. However, your goal is to provide them with the means to address their own issues by themselves, not letting them escape their own responsibilities. Help them figure it out, but don’t do it for them.
4. Offer advice, not solutions
You should always coach your employees to teach them how to be better workers. Whenever they have an issue, do not fix it by providing them with your solution. If you do so, they will always depend on you. Coach them through difficulties, and help them figure out their own strategies to address the issue now and in the future. Ask them open questions that increase employee engagement and stimulate their thinking processes. You want active people around you who know how to react to any unexpected event, not passive robots who just blindly obey your commands.
5. Don’t be cheap when investing on new technologies
Better technologies can significantly improve your employees’ performance and efficiency, and can literally revolutionize your business. Although a technology shift may require some time to adapt, most of the time you will reap the benefits several times over. Forcing your workers to be stuck with older technologies can also make them unhappy, especially when they know that a simple app can reduce the time required to perform a task from hours to just a few minutes. Sometimes you need to spend money to earn more money. Think about it from the food industry perspective. If your POS system is as old as the restaurant, it’s probably time to consider upgrading your POS system. Upgrading to a modern day POS will help your team accell on the floor and in the kitchen.
6. Be clear on the follow-up
If you scold an employee but fail to follow-up on him, they will eventually revert to their negative behaviors in due time. If you praised another employee for their good results just once, they will simply sit down on their success and eventually forget what made you happy in the first place. A consistent follow-up is required to reinforce the initial message, whether it was positive or negative. Reiterating a point will help bolster your feelings to an employee about a situation, and convey a serious message to your employees about the positives and negatives of their performance. Remember, only you can create accountability.
By helping your employees stay engaged and work through their problems, you’re ultimately doing yourself a favor. Your are teaching each employee personal accountability by giving them direction, without giving them the answer. To achieve success, one must learn to be less of a boss and more of a leader. You should lead them with passion and dedication, and, in turn, learn from your employees. Find out what they really need to be happier when working with the team. Teamwork, after all, means working in a team and for the team, and no single individual can ever perform better than a whole team.