How to Ensure Employee Effectiveness

Posted on January 27, 2015 in Employee Issues

Like other asset investments in your business, employees require care and maintenance to make sure they function at peak performance. You can’t just ignore them like office furniture and leave them sitting in the corner. They won’t develop into their fullest potential with that attitude.

One of the most important needs — as employees and as human beings — is the need to feel we make a difference. You can go a long way to developing an effective workforce by communicating with your employees. Let them know their presence matters to your company. Here are a handful of ways you can do that:

  • Let Them Know Where The Company Is Going. Do you have a company mission? A vision statement? Have you set a strategic plan? Sales goals? Let your employees know what your company stands for and where you want to take it. Rather than bashing them over the head with “Close more deals!” tell them why these sales goals really mean something (other than just generating more revenue for you). If your employees buy into your mission, they’ll become your most ardent evangelists.
  • Be Open to Their Feedback. Few things stifle creativity more quickly than having ideas with no place to go. If you’ve hired wisely, you’ll want to tap into the enormous brainpower that has just joined your company. You don’t necessarily have a “lock” on best practices. Let your employees suggest them as they grow into their positions.
  • Communicate with Integrity. A relationship based on lies doesn’t last long. Don’t make pie-in-the-sky promises that you can’t (or don’t intend to) deliver on. [This could get you into legal hot water too!] If the company is facing difficulties, don’t sugar-coat the news. Don’t rah-rah the team to buoy their hopes when you know the world outside is crumbling. Your employees are your frontline. They know — or at least sense — what’s going on. By the same token, don’t be miserly with your praise for jobs well done and targets exceeded. Employees appreciate recognition and respect . . . and will reward you with their loyalty.
  • Find Opportunities for Teamwork. Human beings are social creatures. By nature, we feel safer and more secure when part of a group. If possible, find ways for employees to work together on group projects. Or, consider regular team meetings where employees can teach one another or share how what they learn outside the workplace can apply within it.
  • Provide Regular Feedback and Success Plans. Employees don’t grow in a vacuum. They require feedback to know if they’re meeting the targets, and where their skills need improvement. They’ll eagerly take this on if you show you’re invested in their success. Help them to create reasonable and meaningful performance milestones. Don’t just wait for annual review time. Be forthcoming, frank and constructive with your evaluations.

Of course, there’s a fine balance between encouraging — and mollycoddling — an employee. If an employee is not as effective as you’d like, you need to determine whether that’s a result of their skill level (which can be improved) or their basic negative character traits (which often, cannot). A careful employee review process can help unearth these issues. Speak to your employment attorney to put one in place for your company!

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