Joe receives the phone call he’s anxiously expecting. His company was awarded the big deal that will help the team achieve their goals for the year. Joe can’t wait to tell his team - the team who made this possible by pushing the boundaries and coming up with the winning solution. As the conversation unfolds, Joe quickly realizes his team is not as excited as he is about this win. They say it’s impossible to roll this out by year-end. What happened to his group? Joe’s resources are limited, and he needs an engaged team to meet the company’s goals and expectations. How can he engage his employees to put forth the discretionary effort needed beyond routine responsibilities?
We hear versions of stories like this from companies like yours every day. Your company’s growth and profitability are dependent on maximizing your employees’ productivity. The surprising answer to tapping this energy is active management that addresses these three critical actions:
Am I listening for...
What motivates them and how do they like to be recognized?
What motivates and energizes your employees? Ask, and listen to your team members when they tell you how they like to be acknowledged for a job well done. Outside of pay, there are many reasons why an employee is willing to put forth extra effort and these reasons are individual and personal. If there is no recognition connected to their key motivators, then it can be perceived that their work is not valued or valuable. It’s critical to find what boosts each person’s confidence and energy.
Am I observing...
If they have a purpose?
Does your team know what they are working for? Do they reference the annual goals, the company mission, or the strategy? If these things are missing from everyday conversations, you can help your team realize the connections between their day-to-day work and the “bigger picture” by clearly communicating the direct impact it has on the company’s goals and results.
If they are collaborating and creating comradery?
You can evoke teamwork by encouraging group discovery, brainstorming, and deliverables. When other peers are involved, an employee will often devote extra effort to a project or initiative to enhance the overall outcome.
Am I asking...
How they like to work?
You can optimize your team’s output by addressing how they like to work. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for follow up and oversight; each employee will thrive with a style that optimizes their preferred interaction. Outside of management style, seek to understand working conditions they prefer. Do they perform a certain task better during off hours or offsite? If the work allows for it, provide flexibility in not only work style but also environment.
What do they need to do the job?
It’s essential to invest in your employees to ensure they have the knowledge and skills they need to do their jobs effectively. Whether it’s investing in additional education, attending a conference, or even shadowing another employee who already possesses the needed competencies, there are many ways to encourage and support employee-learning opportunities. No budget? Send your team to relevant business courses offered at no cost through Enterprise University. And don’t forget to provide the necessary tools and technologies required for great performance and results!
What is their preferred communication style?
Learn what communication style your employee prefers and follow suit. Let go of formalities, and focus on the right things: frequency, transparency, and mutual understanding.
Effective management will pay dividends by maximizing your employees’ efforts to reach growth and profitability goals.