Every business owner wants their staff to perform like a well-oiled machine. But realistically, this isn’t possible 100 per cent of the time. It’s only natural for performance to dip from time to time. After all, staff aren’t robots, and everyone has peaks and troughs in their work lives.
As a business owner, the responsibility falls on you to coach your team through those periodic slumps and bring performance back to optimal levels. The good news is, there are several simple moves you can make to increase staff effectiveness. It probably goes without saying but barking orders and demanding results is not likely to end well. Instead, make it clear to staff your door is always open and you encourage honest two-way conversations to identify issues.
5 Tips to Increase Staff Effectiveness
With that dialogue as your starting point, here are five simple tips to increase staff effectiveness in your business.
Empower Your Staff
Entrepreneurs can sometimes find it hard to take their hands off the wheel. When building a business, the tendency is to want to be involved in every facet. The truth is, it’s just not possible or healthy in the long term. Delegate responsibilities to qualified staff members and share your trust that they can handle the responsibility. Make them feel valued and allow them to grow into skilled leaders. This action can create a powerful loop; the more you delegate, the more you can step back and assess the big picture.
Set Clear Goals
It’s been proven staff perform effectively when there’s a target to aim toward. Set your team SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant to the business and time-sensitive. Communicate clearly what is expected of your team and how they can best achieve it. Hold regular status check meetings where any problems with the goals can be discussed and ironed out. It’s not enough to set the goal and forget about it until deadline time.
Recognizing and praising your staff for a job well done will leave them feeling appreciated and motivated to continue working hard. If you want to provide tangible rewards, consider implementing a bonus structure when goals are reached, or even the promise of career advancement through promotions. For some companies, the implementation of an “Employee of the Month” program has created a friendly rivalry that spurs staff on to raise their performance. Other options for incentivizing performance include additional paid time off, staff lunches and even flexible working hours…
As workplaces modernize and take a more 21st century approach to the working week, the option for staff to work remotely becomes more popular. Letting your staff telecommute has been proven to reduce stress and increase performance. And, when staff are sick, they’ll keep working as there’s no risk they’ll be contagious to other staff members. If working remotely isn’t an option for your business, consider letting staff leave early from time-to-time, or let them know you have no problem with them leaving to attend to personal appointments and emergencies.
Don’t Be Afraid to Move On
As a business owner, there’s only so much time and effort you can put into working with employees to raise performance. If, after a few months, you’re still not seeing the results you hoped for, it may be time to walk away. Sometimes an employee is just not a good fit. When this is the case, there’s not much you can do. A good people manager will know when it’s time to make the difficult decision to move on and look at other options. This decision should be a process and not one you reach easily.
Find Out More
Small Business BC offers one-on-one consultations with an HR expert through our Talk to an Expert advisory service. These 30-minute sessions are available in-person at our office in Vancouver, or remotely via Skype or telephone.