Going Above And Beyond: How To Be The Best Employer You Can Be
Running a business involves multiple roles and responsibilities. One of the most crucial aspects to manage is leading your team. Leadership doesn’t come naturally to every entrepreneur and there are likely to be challenges and obstacles along the way. Getting it right can have a significant influence on productivity and employee morale. In this guide, we’ll discuss ways to go above and beyond to get the best out of your employees.
Identify problems and weaknesses
Before you start trying to make changes within the business or modify the way you manage or lead your team, it’s beneficial to get an insight into the potential drawbacks, hurdles or problems that could be holding you back. Speak to your employees, listen to what they have to say and offer them an opportunity to share ideas or concerns through anonymous surveys or online questionnaires. Take the time to read responses and comments, think about what your employees have said and use feedback to identify and address weaknesses. If you are aware of what is going wrong or issues that employees are dealing with, it is much easier to work on ways to make improvements.
Some bosses are a lot more hands-on than others. If you tend to spend most of your time out of the office, or your door is usually closed, try to communicate more. Organize regular catch-ups, schedule group meetings and try to ensure that you see employees one-on-one frequently. Ask questions, invite your employees to share ideas and opinions and make time for your team. Encourage your employees to speak and make sure that you listen. Communication is an integral part of employee engagement strategies and it can be incredibly valuable. If people feel able to share suggestions or air grievances, this can help to create a more inclusive, supportive culture and it can also foster ambition and boost productivity. If you have a large team, or you have employees that work remotely, make use of technology to bring groups together for video calls and conferences. In the aftermath of the pandemic, it’s also an excellent idea to try to bring groups that may not have met before together. Socialize outside of work and try to build strong ties within teams and departments.
Invest in your team
Studies and polls suggest that progression is one of the most important factors for employees looking for a new job today. Employees want to be able to take advantage of opportunities to climb the ladder or take on more responsibility. Invest in your team by providing training, encouraging employees to learn and develop their skills through studying and learning on the job and consider recruiting internally if positions become available. If you look to external candidates all the time, or there are limited opportunities to move up the ladder, you may find that your employees start to look elsewhere. Upskilling and training are mutually beneficial. Your employees will develop new skills and gain confidence, which will benefit your team and save the business money on hiring and onboarding.
Understand the importance of health and wellbeing
Every employer needs to think about profits and losses and balancing the books, but financial successes should never come at a cost to employee health and wellbeing. Try to ensure that taking care of your team is a priority. Set up employee benefits schemes, don’t expect too much in terms of time commitments and taking work home and aim to make it easier for your employees to manage their schedules. Use technology to eliminate arduous, repetitive tasks and keep an eye on individual workloads. If your employees are working long hours regularly, there is a risk of stress and burnout, which can impact productivity and mental and physical health. Some companies operate shorter working days or a four-day week, for example, to boost productivity by enabling employees to enjoy more downtime.
It’s an excellent idea to consider making changes based on the feedback you receive from your team. Ask questions about health concerns and make a concerted effort to address them. If stress levels are high, for example, encourage regular breaks, offer more flexibility, manage workloads and offer incentives, such as access to exercise classes or breathing, meditation or massage sessions.
Reward effort and achievement
We respond positively to applause, congratulations and recognition from an early age. It is human nature to react to comments or feedback from others and to thrive on reassurance and positive reviews. As an employer, it’s crucial to recognize the effort and achievements of your team. If people have been working around the clock to hit a deadline, or you’ve won an award or closed a deal, make sure your employees know that you are proud of them and grateful for their commitment to the cause and the hours they have put in. Positive feedback can spur employees on and make them feel more valued. If your team works tirelessly and receives no plaudits or rewards, there is a chance that you may lose talented individuals to other employers.
It’s a good idea to consider implementing peer-led recognition schemes, as well as incentives, such as rewards and treats. Small businesses may not be able to afford bonuses, but simple, inexpensive gestures can make all the difference. Organize drinks after work, offer your employees an early finish or an extra day off or encourage them to treat themselves with a gift card or voucher, for example. If you have a program in place, your employees will be motivated to work harder and they’ll feel valued if they win or hit a target.
Managing people is one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. Many entrepreneurs may not be well-versed in leadership, and it might not come naturally to them. If you are in charge, it’s critical to recognize the importance of going above and beyond for your team. Encourage communication and engagement, use feedback to highlight potential weaknesses and issues, recognize and reward hard work, prioritize health and wellbeing and invest in your employees.
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