You’re a busy manager with a lot to do. It can feel like an added stress to keep your team happy. Yet an unhappy team is an unproductive team, with more sick days and high staff turnover.
So how about some simple ways to keep your team happy and productive?
Here they are…
1. Show appreciation for their work. Try ideas like a simple ‘thanks that is great’, or a mention in a team meeting or a chocolate bar in their in-tray with a ‘thanks’ post it note. Choose a way of showing appreciation that is relevant to the work done and the person you are appreciating.
2. Have clearly defined roles. Up to date job descriptions save confusion and avoids potential conflict. Ensure that each member of the team understands what others are responsible for.
3. Encourage skill sharing. Skill sharing not only empowers individuals but means that if someone is off sick or on holiday their work can be picked up by others.
4. Keep things fresh with new projects. Your work may naturally offer this. However, if it doesn’t you could get the team to think of ways to make their work easier, more efficient, more enjoyable, more customer friendly, or whatever suits your business.
5. Be fair. Issue work fairly, ensuring that people work to their strengths or towards skills they want to develop. Treat everyone equally – no favouritism.
6. Ensure people have the resources they need to do the job well, whether that means time, people or equipment, the job will get done more efficiently and effectively.
7. Celebrate success. At the end of a project or a difficult piece of work the team has dealt with, arrange a celebration. It can be anything from a meal out to coffee and doughnuts. It’s the acknowledgement that counts.
8. Resolve problems, don’t blame. Playing the blame game is a fast way to ensure dissatisfaction in your team. If something goes wrong, sit down with them to work out how to resolve it and avoid it happening in future.
9. Know what’s going on. Go to see your staff at least once a day. Spend a couple of minutes chatting to each person. Show you remember things going on in their work and life that they have told you about. It will be so much easier for them to tell you they need help or that things are going wrong than if they had to seek you out. This means you’ll find out something is going wrong before it’s a real problem.
10. Deal with problems quickly. Whether it’s poor productivity, slack timekeeping, personality clashes or any other form of conflict, deal with it sooner rather than later.
11. Help your staff develop. Conduct meaningful staff appraisals. Keep them live, not just paperwork you throw in a drawer until next time. Help your staff to achieve their career goals. Some will develop to the point where they will leave, but they’ll work well while they’re with you.
12. Give proper training. From a thorough induction through to updating skills as required, the investment will pay in more productivity and fewer mistakes.
13. Celebrate birthdays and other special occasions. This will include various religious events relating to all the religions relevant to your team.
14. Keep people informed. Businesses change over time, sometimes over a very short time. While it’s true that you can’t always share everything you know with your staff, keep them as informed as possible. If you don’t, the gossip mill will start to grind, dissatisfaction will grow and productivity will drop.
15. Be discreet. If staff tell you anything in confidence, keep it confidential. The same is true if you are dealing with an under-performing member of staff.
16. Don’t share your worries with your team. Maybe you’re worried that there will be cutbacks (but can’t say), or that you won’t get that promotion or bonus you want, but don’t burden the team with it. The rule is that you get support from people who are your equals or superiors. Of course, you can still share with friends, family or a therapist.
17. Always speak well of your team to others. If you moan about your team to others, you can be sure it will get back to them and lead to resentment.
18. Have regular team time. This could be as simple as a shared coffee break each Friday morning, or a team away day.
Which of these could you implement this week?
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