Small-business owners and managers can do much to treat employees with respect and increase productivity. One consideration is getting to know what management style your employees prefer. Some employees may prefer closer supervision, while others desire more leeway and creativity in performing their jobs. Managers must also keep morale high, especially during economic downturns, when layoffs or firings may exert greater demands on the remaining workers. Companies must find the right combinations of management style, employee treatment and motivation to ensure the greatest levels of productivity.
1. Take time to listen to your employees regarding their concerns and needs for performing their jobs. Discuss various issues with each employee individually, such as conflicts they may have with you or other employees. Rectify conflicts right away by coming up with viable solutions. Use a mediator or arbitrator, if necessary, to handle conflicts out of your control. Keep the conflicts from amplifying or causing resentment, which can hinder productivity.
2. Learn the key strengths of your employees with respect to knowledge, education and skills. Assign people project tasks that they are naturally good at performing. Allow employees to set their own job goals or methods for completing assignments, according to senior business associates at Business Performance. Encourage your employees to make recommendations that may help increase your company’s performance and productivity.
3. Recommend training for employees who need it, as they may get frustrated if they have trouble using certain software programs.
4. Communicate with your employees regularly. Keep them informed of the latest updates and encourage them to keep you apprised of their progress on certain projects. Compliment your employees when they do something exceptional. Buffer any criticisms with positive comments, especially when doing annual performance reviews.
5. Find out what drives and motivates each employee to perform at a higher level. Assign more challenging tasks and projects to those employees who want greater responsibilities. Empower employees to make their own judgments and decisions on certain projects. Help develop the skills of more ambitious employees, as they are often the ones who get promoted.
6. Tie your employees’ performance to some type of rewards program. Use various performance elements such as customer service, sales or completed tasks as a basis for the program. Start an Employee of the Month program, for example, rewarding winners with a free meal, gift or cash, depending on the type of work they do. Give everyone an equal chance of winning the monthly award.
Let employees know that you care about them. However, make them realize everyone has a job to do, and that you are accountable to your boss, just as they are accountable to you. Hence, times may get tough and tempers short. But you are all working together for the betterment of the company.