You wouldn’t stop receiving calls, your inbox will be busy as usual, and the last thing which would make you worry the most is if your key staff is getting their personal tasks done.
Some days, it feels like they aren’t working as hard as they could, and you really need them to give their all.
There are a few things you can do that will influence them to work harder just because they want to.
It may seem like common sense on how to deal with people, but the way you word things and what you overlook can play a large part in your employee’s efficiency.
1) Break off more than they can chew.
When first asking for a project or task, give them a long list of things that need to be done. Once they sit with the information for a while, scale it back. They will first feel overwhelmed, but as soon as you shorten the list, they will be grateful, and the motivation will kick in because they think the job is ‘easier’ now.
When interviewing a friend of mine, Tony Chan, who is a manager at a digital marketing startup, he oversees the schedules of eight team members every week.
Here’s what Tony had to say about breaking off more than they can chew.
“When I schedule my team’s week, I’m always considering each individuals propensity for stress. If I know they are particularly sensitive, I’ll make sure they have a very feasible list of goals for the week, but as they work through, I’ll congratulate them on their success and offer up more. With their triumph comes motivation, and with that motivation comes to a renewed sense of vigor in their work. It’s a key strategy in getting things done. I eagerly follow MAAM’s life based learning and want my team to build confidence, connections, and risk-taking capabilities.”
2) Make them feel like your life raft.
It’s important to make a person feel needed and important. Try explaining the importance of a job that you trust them. When people have more responsibility or the stakes are higher, they tend to put forth more effort.
For more ways to make them feel important or valued, read this article by Anand Srinivasan.
Encourage internal happiness projects.
Google does this with its employees, and as a startup, it’s a great way to retain your talent. Provide time for your employees to work on their own project for a couple of hours each month. You’ll find their significantly more happy with their position than before.
For ideas on encouraging happiness, check out The Happiness Theory.
3) Blow some smoke their way.
Compliment the good work they do and praise it in front of everyone. They will love the feeling and will work harder next time to impress you once more. Flattering someone makes their self-esteem go up, which makes them feel better about themselves.
When their self-esteem is high, people work harder, feel better and are genuinely happier.
Keith Gillen, the Primary Therapist at the 12 Palms Recovery Center, knows the importance of praise, especially when it’s publicized.
Working in a rehab center, clients are looking for support where they’ve had little in the past. Many clients in rehab centers go through recovery feeling very alone, so the praise can go a long way, and encourage them to keep working for progress.
4) Nothing is free in life.
Provide them with incentives that will push them to do things around the office.
I’ve learned that people get more done when they have more to do. Being busy means, they don’t have any time to waste which would result in them getting sidetracked.
When they are busy the whole day, they will feel more structured. When they are waiting for a client to call back, or someone to finish with paperwork, they can do other things to make their time worthwhile.
Now, of course, each of these may affect people differently.
5) Run a workplace wellness program.
Salaries and bonuses are motivators for great jobs, but employers also offer benefits to stay competitive and attract the best talent. Motivations for candidates vary; one person may be financially motivated while another may want a flexible work schedule, including the ability to telecommute.
When it comes to operating a healthy work environment, many employees value and even come to expect it. Great organizations are making this a reality by timely running corporate wellness campaigns. These programs do include healthy workspaces, health screening and monitoring programs, awareness about sleep disorders and idiopathic hypersomnia, activities and incentives for everyone’s well being.
6) Make them think about flex time possibilities.
This is a growing phenomenon among workforces, and it might be better for you to explore the possibility.
Are there work hours that would better fit their schedule? Would four 10-hour days work better? Would it be better to come in an hour early and leave an hour earlier to fit into their kids’ schedules better? Can they arrange to leave early on certain days to get to a game or event and make up the time the next day?
If their position involves work that could be done at home, can they arrange to work from home a day a week? If they are successful in getting a flex-time schedule, make sure that they are just as productive, if not more, than before!
Some couples share “sick days,” alternating who will stay home. Others have friends or relatives they can call upon. Have their plan in place in advance, so they are not scrambling at the last minute!
Over to You –
You have to use your people skills to feel out which method works best for which person in your office.
When you find the one that works best for you, stick to it!
Remember that the way you approach your employees can have a world of difference in their reaction. No matter which method you choose, always do it with a smile and appreciation.