Empower

How do I make my employees care?

Your primary focus is the growth and financial health of an organization or the smooth operation of a department. You make efforts to provide your employees with the perks to keep them loyal, and the motivation to make them care as much for the well-being of the organization or department as you do. Yet despite your best efforts, their heart just isn’t in it. Both you and your employees are in a cycle of trading their time for your (or your organization’s) money.
So how do I break this cycle?
Unless you’re Google or Facebook, and can afford to provide over-the-top employee perks and benefits to keep employees interested and focused, you’re going to have to speak to their desire to be part of something great. The companies that retain top talent and get the most out of that top talent give those employees what they are really looking for – a sense of accomplishment and ownership. You see, the benefits and perks are all nice, and great for recruiting, but those are not the things that keep top talent engaged. For that to happen, people need to feel a sense of ownership.

Most of my posts speak directly to improving productivity in the workplace, although I did touch on empowering your employees in an earlier post. Simply empowering them, however, won’t break this cycle. You are going to have to lead them. I see many good managers, but very few leaders. Directing traffic, assigning tasks, and monitoring progress is a management activity – more or less the “what” and “how” of daily work activities. A true leader instills the desire to understand the “why” behind the daily undertakings. If you want your employees to care about […]

Productivity begins with awareness

Setting expectations for productivity

I have five questions for you to consider:

Are your employees spending time doing busy work rather than focusing on helping you improve the company’s financial health and profitability?
Are your employees aware of what you expect from them?
Are you certain of what you expect from your employees?
Are new hires educated as to how their activities impact the company as a whole?
Are new hires educated as to why job functions must be performed a certain way?

It’s rare that a new hire walks in the door questioning the process used to perform their daily tasks.  Instructions are given as to how to perform the tasks of the job, and the employee follows those instructions regardless of any imperfections in the process.  If an employee has been hired to analyze the financial health of the organization, but spends the majority of her time gathering and compiling information, are you getting the most value possible?  Or are there ways to make her job more efficient, and increase the value she can add to the organization?

Awareness that there is a problem is the first step to correcting the problem. If you fail to set expectations for automation and efficiency in the workplace, your staff will continue to do things the way they have always done them.  Making people aware of the idea of working smarter rather than harder empowers them to improve the way they do things.

One way to create an atmosphere of efficiency, teamwork, and empowerment is to give your staff permission to improve their work environment and improve the efficiency of tasks they perform.  Changes and improvements can range from re-positioning equipment to automation of data gathering and reporting activities.

Far too often the method by which […]