But not all of them are successful. Sometimes, it’s the little things that need attention, but can make a big difference in morale and productivity. Keeping good employees happy can help ensure they stick around longer, which makes work easier and more pleasant for everyone—and by reducing turnover, helps the bottom line.
Here are a few small ways to make managing employees easier:
- Get rid of unnecessary processes and rules. Ask staffers what rules and procedures are hampering their productivity or just making them unhappy. See if there are ways to rework policies to achieve the same goals. Is it really harmful to allow purple hair or for employees to eat at their desks?
- Clarify your expectations. Employees will achieve more if they know what’s expected of them. They don’t often know what the outcome of their tasks should be, or exactly what a “good job” looks like. Tell them what you need, what success entails, and how their work will be evaluated.
- Uncover and use employees’ talents. Get to know what really lights up your employees. What are their passions? What are they really good at? Can you incorporate their best qualities into their current position, or should you create a new position? You’ll get better results when employees feel fully utilized.
- Don’t waste their time. Unnecessary meetings, meetings that start late or don’t have a strict agenda, weeks of work that gets tossed because someone changed their mind about what was needed—they’re all big time wasters. Plan well and respect everyone’s time.
As in any relationship, keeping communication open between managers and employees is key to success. Ask people what resources and tools they need to be successful, and find a way to provide them. Then, eliminate things they don’t want or need, and above all, keep listening.