As a small business owner and leader, one of the most important skills you can master is how to keep employees on task.
This skill is vital to engaging your workforce into more performance. When the right person is in place to motivate your team, the results will be rewarded with high performance and growth.
On the other hand…
Demotivated employees often cause chaos in the business environment, which can lead to a constant decrease in earnings for the company.
To keep employees motivated, a good leader will encourage their employees to strive for higher positions in the firm. You could even offer them a chance to participate in the business as a partner.
Other trademarks of a brilliant leader include trust-building among employees at any position, maintaining an atmosphere of open communication, and involving your workers in company decisions that affect their duties.
To effectively know how to keep employees on task, a leader must first understand the factors that influence each employee’s workday. You do not want to stress out your employees while thinking you are challenging them.
Here are two techniques you could use to get to know your employees:
1. Provide your workers with consistent feedback
You can begin by individually letting your employees know how you feel about their performance in their workstations. While praise is a good motivator, constructive criticism pushes the employee to improve in the areas you propose to them.
Be honest with them without showing anger towards their approach to work, unless it is a severe offense. For firms that have annual reviews, try not to wait until the results to offer praise or criticism.
Frequent and swift responses to workers’ attitudes and achievements give them the impression that you care about their assigned tasks and their welfare.
2. Communicate the issues affecting the firm
Sometimes the best solutions to a firm’s problems do not come from the managers or directors of the firm. Employees can provide the best solutions as they are involved in the day-to-day operations.
Trust is critical when boosting an employee’s morale at work. Though you might sometimes be tempted to protect your employees from most of the hardships that come the firm’s way, you have to resist this urge. However, it is important that you keep them in the know about the firm’s successes as well as failures.
Once you have built your relationship with your employees over six months or so, you know their abilities and aspirations in the business.
Here are three key techniques on how keep employees on task for better performance and growth:
1. Make sure your employees can see a steady increase in both position and pay over time
Research shows that the motivation of workers plays a significant role in the productivity of a company. Learning motivation tactics will help you understand how to keep employees on task.
Think about it:
When workers feel essential in their position for your firm, they will want to wake up every morning to come to work.
A great way to improve motivation and understand how to keep employees on task is to sit them down and go over a short-term and long-term growth plan involving their position and salary.
Be thoughtful when selecting the characters you would like to join higher ranks in your business as they will be the ones in charge of keeping the employees on task. Employees usually take up the attitude and the motivation of the higher-ranked employees.
Announce every raise in rank to the other employees to display a clear pattern of the character you reward in your workforce.
Here are some ways to recognize employees for both small successes and milestone accomplishments:
Know where your employee stands
Some employees are satisfied and comfortable with their role in the firm. Whether according to education qualifications or through hard work, you should try and understand where the employee comes from.
Disengaged employees may not be comfortable talking to you if they have a personal problem or if they feel oppressed by the pay they are receiving at your firm.
Other employees are constantly working to improve their position and status at work. Offer these opportunities to them as a trigger for healthy competition. Developing their talents and grooming them for higher ranks makes them feel safer about their future with the company.
Experts suggest promoting individuals within your own company instead of searching for talent outside the organization.
Determining what motivates your employees is the first step towards creating a business-friendly environment. Disengaged employees are detrimental to the organization’s objectives since it is easy to infect your other employees with negative views of the firm. This will not only slow production but can also cause crucial members of your team to leave in search of greener pastures.
Recognize what drives your employees
After taking the time to know your employees, make efforts to create an environment where all the workers feel they are part of the company’s success.
It can be a challenge to convince your workers they are worth as much as the company, but it’s worth the effort.
Simply take care of the following drivers of employee engagement, and you will be on your way:
- The interest of the management in the employees’ well-being
- A clear vision of the company’s future from senior management
- Challenging work
- Opportunities for career advancements
- A team-based work environment
- Availability of resources to get the job done
- Employee decision-making authority and input at the firm
Pay them what they are worth
Offering a fair salary to your employees is one of the most motivating things you can provide your workforce. The salary you offer to pay each employee tells them the value of their individual contributions to the firm. While money is not the primary source of motivation for some employees, consistently underpaying your employees is one of the surest ways to lose them.
Take a close look at the effort the employees put in their work stations and appreciate their work accordingly. You do not have to extravagant salaries that the firm cannot afford to keep your workers happy, but covering their cost of living will help keep them comfortable with their roles in your firm. Fair pay is one of the best ways to show employees that you appreciate their efforts.
Focus on the future of the firm and how to keep employees on task
Ask your employees to share their professional goals and visions to help you know whether you are on the same page with your team. When talking about their professional goals, it is often an excellent time to suggest additional responsibilities the employee might take on.
Let your employees know how you envision their role in the firm in the future. That way, your employee can gauge his goals and see whether they are aligned with the future of your firm. Goal-setting is a great motivator for employees, but it should be a team effort. Annual performance reviews provide the perfect venue to open this discussion.
Your employees most likely spend more hours at their work stations than with their families. It is essential to give them credit for success in projects or offering services beyond the agreed duties.
If none of your employees can go the extra mile to solve rampant problems at your company, then there may be a lack of appreciation within your company culture..
Employees sometimes end up feeling their bosses are insensitive and just do not care about them. This is typically the main driver in why an employee leaves an organization. As a manager, make sure your employees feel appreciated, even for the little extra effort they put in their daily routine. A great place to start would be profiling different employers for their efforts on the firm’s social media timelines.
Here are a few tips on how to demonstrate appreciation to your workforce:
Investing in employee recognition events
Organization-wide or regional competitions offer your workers additional motivation to achieve success. Offer the top employees fantastic rewards and acknowledge their prowess publicly.
Do not forget to reward those employees who have shown significant improvement in areas of the workforce that are not easy to quantify. Driven employees may often have a significant impact on your firm’s performance and should not go for a long time without getting any exclusive rewards for their efforts.
Young companies are especially advised to invest in programs that highlight their top employees. In addition, the employees that do not get the rewards idolize those that were appreciated for their hard work and improve on their work motivation to grab the prize in the future.
A clear sign of apathy in the workplace and how to keep employees on task is the incessant use of cell phones during work hours.
If employees begin to pay less attention to their work, they likely have no incentive to work. Employees’ recognition events will keep the workers on their toes and focused on their tasks in the company. Poor recognition in the workplace makes employees feel no need to push themselves further for the development of the company so they end up doing much less at their duties than they should.
Offer fantastic work benefits
You cannot underestimate the value of benefits to your employees.
Benefits will make your employees want to stay longer at your company. Whether the benefits come in the form of health insurance, free lunches, paid parking, or generous vacation policies, your employees are bound to respond positively to them. This is why Silicon Valley companies invest so much in all these benefits for their employees and much more.
To get people to want to earn their keep, the one thing to keep in mind is that generosity begets loyalty. Companies like Facebook and Google offer their employees perks such as free haircuts, subsidized housekeeping, legal advice, and dry cleaning. Companies like Google even provide their employees with a death benefit in which the next of kin receives half the worker’s salary for ten years after their demise.
If you want your workers to turn up for the job at the top of their game, invest in them as much as you invest in the firm. Encourage your workers to take industry training to either qualify for higher roles in the firm, or to serve better in his or her role at the company.
Offering your employees an opportunity to sharpen their knowledge makes them better at their roles in your firm. It also makes them feel valued as an individual and they will be less likely to move to a different firm. You can offer them certificates created by the firm to honor their role, and add to their catalog of personal achievements.
Organizations that have set up well-established training programs to develop their employees’ skills end up nurturing a talented workforce. As a result, your business will have a track record of success and profitability over the long-haul. Training will also make sure that your employees do not lag in work performance and introduce new skills that may improve performance.
Negative employee engagement can cause critical damage to your company and seriously jeopardize the business’ bottom line. You must encourage employee participation through volunteer initiatives. A research conducted by Macquarie School of Management shows that corporate volunteering not only boosts the satisfaction of your employees, but also increases their engagement.
Extended research found that about 93% of employees in the US who volunteer in corporate programs grow employee engagement, increases employee retention, and improves employee satisfaction.
Corporate volunteer programs are the perfect cure for a disengaged team in most companies. It creates a way for the employees to give back to his community and feel he belongs somewhere. The idea is to translate volunteer programs into a sense of goodwill in your employees, which will, in turn, increase engagement and productivity.
Ask for employees’ suggestions in different scenarios
Most managers take up a solo role in making all the firm’s decisions. However, most of the successful brands involve their workers in making firm decisions, especially those that touch on their roles in the firm. Asking for suggestions to problems from your employees makes them feel that the management acknowledges their input and values their opinion.
Let your employees feel part of the business operations by implementing their feasible solutions as the company takes off. Challenge them to improve the stature of the business by coming up with ingenious and fast solutions to various problems in the company. Remember to reward them accordingly for any extra effort they put into building the company.
3. Getting the team together often
Teamwork is one of the most essential virtues in all successful businesses. Socializing also eases the workers’ minds and relieves them of the stress in the workplace. While some roles in the firm may require the individuals to work alone for long hours, it is healthy to let them mingle with the rest of the workers every once in a while. That way, they return to work joyously after a conversation they had or motivated by a story you told them in an open-air meeting during the lunch break.
All work with no play makes Jack a dull boy. This is probably the oldest sayings in the English language. If your employees appear dull, especially in the afternoon hours, they probably need to have a little open-air with the rest of the team.
There are a couple of ways you can encourage your employees to get together more often:
Remind your employees to take breaks
Employees glance at their phones more often in most cases because they need a break from the work environment. They are, however, worried that their boss will reprimand them for taking a noticeable break from their work stations to refocus, and prefer to get sucked into the many distractions phones can offer.
Do not let your employees feel uncomfortable when taking obvious breaks to refocus. Let it be okay in the work environment for your workers to walk around the work station for a few minutes and then resume their duties.
A survey by Staples Business Advantage in 2016 interviewed more than 3,100 employees in the US on their view of work breaks. 52% of the respondents saw breaks as a great way to keep them from being bored by the monotony of their work station. It is therefore advisable to set employees free and encourage them into team games on lunch and mid-afternoon breaks.
Encourage teamwork to solve real problems facing the firm
If you want to improve the motivation of your employees in the work environment by allowing them to contribute to the firm’s decision, make it a team effort. Let employees offer ideas on how you could solve the problem and discuss the best solutions. It will not only make them feel valued by the firm, but also improve the relationship between your workers.
Teamwork has been found to relieve stress levels common with people who work in isolated posts. When your employees work together, they help each other solve problems in the operation of the firm that might otherwise have cost you some money.
Holding employee events
Work does not have to be serious and dull on a daily basis. Holding employee events could go a long way in building the confidence and morale of your team. The idea here is to motivate your employees to give their individual and team goals and to understand the objectives of the company better.
During such events, employees could open up about their dissatisfaction with the workplace environment. Events induce open conversations, and they are essential in getting to assess your team’s motivation levels accurately.
Events meant for your workforce will not only build teamwork but show appreciation to employees for their efforts. Allow your employees to speak freely and enjoy themselves by serving as an example. For instance, you could call toasts to those employees that have performed excellently in past years and to good times ahead.
While employers play a massive role in the motivation of workers at the workplace, the employees ultimately bear some responsibility for motivating themselves and others at work. As a manager, your role is to create the perfect environment for business, innovation, and hard work.
Without motivation, your workers will become liabilities to your firm in no time. They immediately begin working for much less than you are paying them. With this in mind, you cannot underestimate the role of all the above activities in improving the work environment. Working your employees harder may work a few weeks for your firm, but without the right motivation, they will just feel oppressed and move on to another company.
Every firm needs to retain its valued employees. The firm must, therefore, keep the employees satisfied with their role in the company and give him genuine hope for a better position as the company grows. Success will be guaranteed if you can keep your employees happy in the workplace.
Are you ready to create a lasting plan for your employees? Book a quick discovery call with Business Growth Partners and we’ll share our plans on how to keep employees on task.