Wednesday, October 7, 2015

14 Ways To Increase Employee Performance & Morale

1.       Give them reasons to believe. Your employees are part of something bigger than themselves, but do they know it? From the first interview, potential candidates need to understand and share in the vision of what you are doing as an organization. That vision alone will motivate and inspire your team, down to its junior members, which comes back full circle in effectively facilitating company growth.

2.       Show them you care. Recognize every single employee’s birthday. Send gifts for new babies and weddings. Be involved in employees’ lives to let them feel loved and valued not only as employees, but also as family members and as human beings. When people are appreciated, they will give more than you can imagine they could for you and your cause. A good idea is to sends gifts to employees around every possible event in their lives. “Employees are the lifeblood of our operation. By taking care of them should be one of your highest priority and to make sure they are ridiculously happy at all times.”

3.       Recognize the good things. When someone is doing something awesome, tell them. Recognize the individuals on your team who receive good feedback from your clients. It’s important for employees to feel their efforts are being recognized, and the recognition further perpetuates their desire to go above and beyond for your clients, which of course, sets you apart as an organization as well. Ask each client how the teacher is doing with your child, and pass that positive feedback on publicly at your team meetings in the form of “Kudos.” Negative feedback should also be passed on, but privately, and proper corrections are made.” A good idea is to provide periodic surprise “spot bonuses” to highlight achievements that are above and beyond.

4.       Learn the value of “fringe”. Your company may not be at a point that allows you to offer a competitive full benefits package, but you’d be surprised how far a few small (and inexpensive) benefits will go with your staff. It could be something as little as giving once a month the employee that out performs the rest a nice gift card. Instead of giving your employee a $50 bonus, offer to buy dinner for them and their spouse or significant other at a local fine restaurant. Keep in mind when you give employees money, their attitude is grateful but the feeling is ‘I earned it’ and thus the impact is short lived. When you give an employee an experience, you’re giving them something they would call their mother to brag about.”

5.       Promote from within. When your employees see that there is room to advance their career within your organization, it speaks volumes. Find out what skills and talents the different members of your crew possess and find ways to develop those skills for future use in your business. When you have a stellar team member, help invest in the training they need to advance as your company grows.

6.       The company that plays together stays together. This is a common thread among some of the more successful companies today and some of fastest growing companies throughout the United States. For example, once a year throw huge summer party with horse drawn carriages, massage, face paint, bonfires, dunk tanks, races, coin pools, face painting and snow cones, etc. This is a great summer bash appreciation party for employees and their families. These celebrations acknowledge to employees that the organization can’t succeed without them. The common theme in all of these ideas is caring, recognition, rewards and appreciation. These small steps can go far.

7.       Show your employees the results of their hard work. Be sure to share the thank you notes and positive reviews written by customers with the entire staff. Or better yet, asks clients to meet and personally thank the employees. “By reminding employees about the meaning their work has by seeing its impact directly through the eyes of the people they are engaging with, it serves as a tremendous boost to morale, confidence, and satisfaction and adds an entirely different level of meaning to their work,”

8.       Give them more responsibility. All of your employees can point out inefficiencies in your organization, but not all feel empowered to do so. A good recommendation would be listening to employees to learn about what gets “in the way of the good job they want to do” and then involving them in the process to eliminate these barriers.

9.       Treat them as real people. The fastest way to kill morale is to treat an employee like a resource similar to a stamp press or die cutter. Instead, small gestures like learning your employees’ names and sending flowers when they are sick can go a long way.

10.   Make sure the top management is available, listening, and engaged. It’s a good idea to consider walking around and get engaged with your employees to see how they are doing in their classrooms.  Take the time with your employees, by talking with each individual employee, asking questions, and soliciting ideas. People like to know that their opinions are valued, and they will take more pride in their work performance as a rule of thumb.  Employees all want to feel genuinely a part of something larger than ourselves, and when we do, we are loyal and eager to go the extra mile.

11.   Offer training options. One of the top reasons employees leave a company is lack of development opportunities, so providing your employees with professional effective training is sure to boost morale. This begins with partnering new employees with more seasoned veterans, bringing in experts for training sessions, and encouraging and paying for employees to attend local trade conferences.

12.   Be transparent and keep your staff in the loop at all times. Nobody likes to be the last to know, but when employees don’t know what is going on in their own company, productive time can give way to duplicate or unnecessary efforts on the part of the staff.  Worse yet, when employees are only given part of the story, not the whole picture; they are left to fill in the blanks with gossip, rumors, and worry.

13.   Ask employees what motivates them best. While the list above will certainly help bolster the morale of many employees, one of the most important things to do is to ask your employees what motivates them. As a recommendation, it’s always a good practice sitting down with each employee and having a conversation about what they value and how they measure success. The answers they give will in turn suggest non-compensation rewards that will boost morale–and the conversations themselves will make them feel more motivated, appreciated, and participatory, leading to morale boosts just by asking.

14.   Just be genuine. Whichever methods you choose to implement, the most important thing to remember is that you do so out of genuine interest and concern for your employees.  Forced office socials and cheap thoughtless gifts will be recognized as such, and can cause more damage than the good will for which they were intended.