Running a business, whether you’re the owner or the manager, is all about the people you have working for you. How you treat them on a daily basis can have more impact on their productivity and happiness than any other aspect of the business. You could dangle hefty bonus structures, medical aid cover and fun corporate functions in front of them. But if their experience of the daily grind is negative, you’ll find yourself managing a miserable bunch.
Possibly the worst part of having unhappy employees is that they can be difficult to communicate with. If your staff members have been festering feelings of unhappiness or confusion or are demotivated, the chances are that when you finally realise they’re unhappy, they’re passed the point of wanting to share. Therein lies your first problem though. Why have your employees been less than eager to share their feelings? Do they feel that management is unapproachable? Or perhaps they feel that their concerns won’t be heard. If this is the case in your place of work you must correct it.
Often times, the employees who are most unhappy are that way for simple reasons. To them it may feel that they’re sinking in unhappiness but most times you, as the manager or owner, can rectify their situation quickly and easily. Having open lines of communication with your staff is crucial to running a successful business. After all, a high-functioning business relies on a high-functioning team. Therefore if your team is less than completely happy, your business will suffer.
Some of the most common problems that arise among staff members have to do with communication and understanding. Here are three examples of the most common staff issues that you’ll find easy to fix.
A staff member isn’t performing because they don’t know what you expect
This will inevitably result in the staff member constantly under-performing because they simply don’t know how to hit the marks you require. Unfortunately, this problem is yours to handle from the outset. You cannot actually place any blame on the staff member if you haven’t communicated correctly (of course, assuming they are in fact qualified for the position). You cannot just give an employee a job description. You need to supply them with expectations and practise goal setting with them. You could offer them an example of what excellent performance standards look like. Set up quarterly Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for them to achieve. This will keep your staff motivated but also completely aware of what you need from them.
Your employees have no idea of their impact on your business
This is something that many business owners don’t spend enough time communicating to their team. If you employ someone to perform a specific function in your company you should definitely let them know that they impact the bottom line. In their performance reviews, you should show them the successes and losses the company has had and explain just how important their role is in maintaining a sustainable business. Through this you will almost immediately pick up if you’ve perhaps hired someone who, while they have the skillset on paper, doesn’t have the necessary knowledge to completely fulfill their function. This can happen quite easily if the employer doesn’t train the employee correctly because they’ve assumed that the listed education is enough. For instance, an employee might have a journalism degree but that doesn’t mean that they necessarily have the know-how to write three high quality blogs for your digital agency everyday, straight out the gates. They will need guidance and training.
Non-performance still gets a reward
This has to do with accountability. Perhaps you have a staff member who you really get along with. They have a great personality and are extremely creative but they don’t finish the work they don’t enjoy but that is required. Perhaps they even have legitimate personal issues, but you have to ask how many times their second hand Ford can realistically breakdown before they do something about it.This staff member needs to be held accountable for the work they’ve left incomplete regardless of their car, family, kid issues.
No matter how well they have done in the areas of work they enjoy. The standard should be that an excellent employee should be rewarded for their good work and you cannot claim someone is an excellent employee if aspects of their work is left incomplete. Similarly, you can’t spend all your time with your problem staff members. You need to manage how you attend to them or they will feel “special” and been seen as such by your other staff members, who’ll land up feeling resentful.
To manage the team’s requirements for them to keep operating at a high level of productivity, you need to create clear channels which they can use to communicate their concerns. By having these channels set up right from the start, you’ll have created a sense of trust among your team members. To create the correct channels of communication and ensure that your staff know what they can do if they feel unhappy, you should consider completing human resources and legal courses. These will give you keen insight into how to manage your staff and how to make sure they know and feel that they’re truly the most important asset in your company.