After a dismal 2020, business owners can look forward to beginning a new year. Although many are skeptical that 2021 will return to normality, most analysts are optimistic that companies will adapt to a new business environment and continue to prosper and grow. Your business depends on exceptional employees, but a lack of motivation from management can hinder their success. Using the following methods, you’ll enable your staff to meet company goals and exceed your expectations.
Your employees shape your company’s reputation and prosperity. Whether you run a corporation or a small business, a public scandal can lower revenues, and in extreme cases, it can lead to bankruptcy. Finding quality personnel who represent your company’s values begins with a thorough hiring process. Although some owners and HR managers are hesitant to adopt a robust hiring process, they might change their minds after spending a significant amount of time and money on training an unfit candidate. Lengthy interviews and screening sessions may seem expensive, but they’re much cheaper than the cost of training and terminating an employee. Update your hiring process by allowing different managers to interview a new prospect. One of your managers may see something in the new candidate that everyone else missed.
Your screening process can also be improved by spending more time researching the candidate’s history. Because of the rise of social media platforms and chat forums, you have several ways to find valuable information about a potential employee without spending a penny. If a candidate published a shocking post three years ago that contradicts your company’s values, you can reject them and move on to the next application. Hiring managers can preempt the internet research by asking the candidate, “Is there anything in your social media accounts that you’re ashamed of?” Your current employees cannot succeed if they’re burdened with a disruptive staff member who brings negativity into the workplace.
You may have a qualified team that you’re incredibly proud of, but if they struggle to meet deadlines or goals, the problem may be the result of inadequate tools or applications. By questioning the staff about their misgivings, you can determine which areas of the business require improvements. Outdated software, unsatisfactory internet service, uncomfortable furniture or improper lighting can slow down your team and discourage them from reaching production goals. When your employees are comfortable in their workplace and outfitted with advanced tools and technology, they can increase productivity and discover creative ways to battle the competition. Equipping your staff with premium equipment and software isn’t cheap, but the cost is justified when considering how it can improve your bottom line.
Research the latest breakthroughs in software development in your field to find new applications that will benefit your team. For instance, you can use a time card calculator for your on-site and remote workers to streamline the payroll process. Labor costs are a significant part of every company’s budget, and any app that minimizes laborious tasks is worth investigating.
When researchers recently conducted studies involving remote workers’ productivity, they found some alarming results. Contrary to their expectations, most business owners saw an increase in productivity with their remote workers. When employees weren’t involved in lengthy company meetings or out of town conferences, they could produce quality work faster. That doesn’t mean you should discontinue having meetings, but you can schedule sessions at strategic times to benefit your staff. When you’re introducing a new service or product to the public, your team should be thoroughly briefed and questioned about their opinions. Any small policy changes or updates can be sent through emails or message boards. A three hour weekly or bi-weekly conference is unnecessary and can be counterproductive.
If one of your staff members is working on a project that requires frequent consultation with management, you can arrange a brief one-on-one meeting or schedule a video chat session. All-staff meetings should be reserved for special announcements, and you can keep your employees engaged by limiting the length of the session to an hour or less.
Another way to ensure your team’s success is to provide frequent training sessions. In every industry, new techniques and technologies are frequently developed. Keep your employees up to date on industry innovations by contacting experts to modify your training programs. Training shouldn’t merely consist of a written test or series of instructional videos but should include a combination of testing, in-person instructional lectures and follow up meetings with managers. Efficient training programs can identify an employee’s strengths and weaknesses while they’re learning a new skill. After a staff member completes a training session, managers should study the results and develop a report that clearly shows where improvement is needed. Training doesn’t have to be a dull affair that treats employees like they’re back in a high school classroom during final exams. Keep your staff interested in the training by hiring talented and lively instructors, providing frequent breaks during lengthy sessions and offering rewards to the top performers.
For projects that require your staff to work in small groups, you should identify which employees will perform best in each group. Every office has staff members whose personalities conflict, but you can develop effective teams by conducting employee evaluations and personal interviews. If you randomly place workers in groups, you’ll waste time and money. Team members who constantly argue with each other are unproductive, but you can build a successful team with talented workers who share similar personality traits and genuinely enjoy working together.
The success of your business relies on talented employees who are creative and driven to advance their positions. When the structure of your business lacks upward mobility, employees are less motivated to perform at their best. Companies that offer scant promotional opportunities struggle with high turnover rates. Reward your exceptional workers with promotions and personally congratulate them on their success. If you run a small company that cannot offer frequent promotions, you can give your stand-out workers bonuses. Promotions and bonuses show your appreciation, and they’re more cost-effective than hiring and training new employees.
Like promotions, incentive programs are essential for motivating and retaining valuable employees. Although the programs’ scope will vary by the size of the operation, you can offer beneficial incentives even in a small business environment. Financial incentives, such as hiring bonuses and performance rewards, are always appreciated but are only temporary. Long term perks such as extended vacation time, health insurance, or stock options are valued higher by employees and crucial to maintaining a low turnover rate. Incentives can be expensive, but several low-priced options are also appealing.
If you have enough space in your building, you can also offer weekly yoga or strength training sessions, catered lunches or guest speakers. For small operations, you can give your workers gym memberships, concert tickets or visits from their favorite food trucks. Incentives should show your staff that their contributions are valued by your company and encourage them to be part of your business for several years.
No one knows what to expect in the upcoming year, but when you equip your staff with practical tools, skilled co-workers, training and incentives, you can plan for success in 2021.
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