By Nigel Hilton
Businesses start to let themselves down when they forget the importance of their workforce. Each individual member of staff was chosen for their skills and abilities, but when you start viewing the workforce as a mob of worker ants then you’ve taken a little too much of a step back from the company. It’s important to invest time and energy into your employees as a collective and as individuals because they’re human beings. You wouldn’t want to be dismissed as the business owner, and it’s the same story for these hard-working individuals. Here are some tips on making your workforce more effective.
Reward your employees.
You need to appreciate your employees and all that they do for you. Your office wouldn’t function without the people in it, but it also won’t function if you neglect the people within it. It’s important that you recognize real talent and effort in the workplace. If somebody finishes a project earlier than expected then give them the day off. If somebody goes above and beyond to point out specific problems within the company then give them a bonus that month.
Of course, you could go one step further than this if you want more of the workforce to be productive and effective in the office. You could incentivize people to work harder by offering rewards to all those who do so. The worker of the month could receive perks such as time off, a raise, or perhaps even a promotion. This will encourage everybody to work harder towards a goal. In terms of rewarding your workforce as a whole, of course, you should be allowing them time to relax and recover regularly. Put a pool table and some sofas in the breakroom to create a “chill-out” area for staff members to enjoy during their lunch break.
In the modern age, businesses are starting to realize that working people into the ground isn’t just damaging to humans on a personal level but to the company as a whole. Diminishing returns on productivity are something you need to consider; there’s a point at which you’re not going to get any more out of your employees by working them for extra hours or asking more from them during the day. They’re going to falter and become less effective or productive members of the workforce.
If you want to fix this then you might want to consider flexible working options. Many workers are finding that the freedom to work from home really helps them concentrate. Whilst some people may work better in a team, others may get their work done better in solitude. You could allow members of staff a few days of the week during which they work remotely, but simply stepping away from the rigid limits of the 9-5 might be a good idea. Give employees the freedom to leave early for their kid’s school play or to go to an appointment.
Address office problems.
Remember that your employees are human beings and not simply more cogs in the system. Yes, you rely on your workers to keep your business ticking over as they’re the life-supply of the company, but these people can only work well if they’re treated like people. You need to make sure that you’re putting effort into addressing the problems or questions of your workforce whenever such things might arise.
Listen to your employees’ problems. You could even look into HR consultancy services if you want to enlist a professional helping hand because it can be quite time-consuming to set up human resource services. Nonetheless, this doesn’t neglect its importance. Outsourcing such a service could be a great way to avoid impact on your business’ operations whilst still offering your workers a way to sort out their vacations, discuss potential conflicts in the office, or sort out other problems. The point is that your workforce just wants to be heard.
The concept of teamwork is so important in a workplace, but everybody knows that. You’re probably bored of hearing it by now. However, that doesn’t mean you’ve necessarily got a strong and collaborative team yet. You need to work hard to integrate and deeply embed employees into the company. The goal is to see fewer employees absent-mindedly clocking in at 9 and clocking out at 5. You want people to thrive off one another’s ideas, and that starts by making them feel as if they’re part of the big picture.
Your business needs to have a strong brand which seeps into the inner workings of the company. If you promise to be helpful and caring then be helpful and caring to your employees as well as customers. People are people, at the end of the day; you shouldn’t just be trying to impress your target market and expecting your workers to continue operating like robots. You need to be a little proactive and get people working together as a community or a family rather than co-workers and colleagues. Encourage “downtime” so that people can build friendships and bonds so that they collaborate naturally rather than forcefully.
At the end of the day, if you want your employees to work more effectively for your company then you need to stop seeing a separation between yourself and the workforce. Open up communication channels so that you can be a better boss to your workers and they can better understand your ideas and objectives for the business. You can offer feedback to your staff members to ensure that you’re staying on track and on task but they can also offer feedback to you to ensure that you know what is or isn’t working around the workplace.
Essentially, if you want your business to be organized then you need to ensure people are clear on what the business is striving towards. A more effective workforce starts with more effective communication, respect, and flexibility. People will work harder when they feel less like a slave and more like a valued member of the team. Keep your workforce energized and motivated to work hard.