Any business establishment is comparable to a living, breathing organism, and requires careful management and maintenance in order to maximize productivity. Employees are the life force of any business and in order for a business to thrive employee management needs to be as effortless as blood flowing through the system.
If proper measures are not put in place beforehand, operations can quickly come to halt during times of distress. Circumstances are ever changing and companies need to adapt to those changes and do it with alacrity.
Though some of the strategies presented here might seem counterintuitive, they are proving to be quite successful when it comes to turning substandard performance and poor management into the opposite direction.
Improve the existing systems
Everything within the bounds of creation can be improved upon. Even if you think your business is performing smoothly, there is always room for improvement. The challenge is to identify the areas that are in need of fine tuning. Here are a few common strategies that, when implemented, would create a more proactive team.
Change your recruitment strategy
The first step of building a model team is to ensure that people you hire are the right fit. Most companies concentrate on the skills and qualifications of a potential candidate. Though this strategy may have worked in the past, but, the need of the hour is to connect with people who are more in tune with the company's culture and environment.
An emotional connection helps people feel more invested in the success and failure of their employer and which is why, the kind of person you are hiring matters more. Evaluating their social presence, talking to personal and professional references, even personality evaluation can be carried out during the hiring process itself.
Training and development
Create training and development programs that would help employees be more productive. If you are reluctant or unable to invest in an internal training department, there are various online portals that offer courses that can be completed with a full time job. It will not only add value, but also inspire trust.
Build perfect teams
Many times people get stuck in situations that are counterproductive to growth. For example, an employee may not get along with their current manager, or may have been assigned to a project that they are unsuitable for. Identify such inconsistencies and instead of eliminating them from the system, provide them a position they might thrive in.
Equip your team with tools
With technological advancement, tedious and time consuming procedures have become much evolved and effortless. Make use of the tools that best suit your business to ensure that your team is well equipped, and processes become streamlined. Here are the essential tools that can boost productivity for any business:
Time/productivity tracking software: Time tracking software lets you monitor the activities of each team member without seeming oppressive or micromanaging.
Collaborative software: With the help of technology, sharing files, assigning work, monitoring progress of a project has become very convenient. Trello, Google, Hubstaff are some of the prominent and widely used collaborative tools.
Communication: Communication is a pillar of building any team, and though emails may have done the job in the past, new evolved tools such as Slack or Twist are a much more effective way to keep the dialogue going.
Create remote working opportunities
With the global economy coming to a halt because of Covid-19 pandemic, many companies have realised how ill-equipped they were in handling their employees in crisis situation. Remote work has become the need of the hour, and even if the need abates, businesses must be better prepared to handle remote employees.
Also, there are times when businesses may have had to let go of a highly skilled workforce due to personal issues, such as maternity, disability or the need to take care of an ageing parent. Offering remote working options will help retain such skills and inspire loyalty.
Establish achievable goals and positive work environment
Identify the capability of each member of the team and establish clear and achievable goals. Setting the bar too high or assigning work that they are ill-equipped to handle are counterproductive and will result in dissent.
Build a clear channel of communication where each and every member of your organisation has a voice. Discuss ideas and provide constructive criticism instead of providing dictates. Also, ensure that the 'praise in public, criticize in private' ideology is implemented within every team.
Try to reduce the micromanagement within the organisation. According to many experts most employees perform better if there is no one breathing down their neck at all times. Let your people be responsible for their time and projects. Offer help and support, instead of constant supervision.
Also, many businesses discourage social media activities. However, instead of increasing productivity, it actually reduces morale and creates a feeling of discontent. Sometimes taking a few minutes breather, or a mental break helps increase focus.
Offer perks and referral programs
Use internal promotion as a way to fill vacant positions instead of hiring someone from outside. Also, create a referral program that inspires people to recommend people from their own circles, which is a great way to create a positive environment.
Apart from appraisals and bonuses, there are various other ways to make your people feel special and appreciated. Acknowledge their performance, birthdays and other special occasions in their life such as marriage, childbirth, etc. Using non-monetary incentives such as coupons, movie tickets, books which are much more personal.
Above all, use empathy and common-sense to create an open and positive environment, where people can grow without becoming too competitive or discontent.