How to help your people be the best they can be
At Lodge Court, we believe that a business's success is driven by its people. Why? Because a business is only as strong as its team. A committed and motivated workforce can achieve great things, but if it’s not working together or doesn't have the same goals in mind, it will struggle and not reach its full potential.
So, how do you help your people be the best they can be? Well, aside from contacting us for help, we suggest the following:
1. Set achievable goals
Does everyone in your workforce fully understand their job responsibilities and have set goals to achieve? If you’re not sure, don’t worry. You’re not alone. We’ve seen many cases where businesses have given their new employees their job description and the tools to do their job, and then left them to it. The result? The new starters either leave six months later because they’re bored or unmotivated or they get a bad review from their manager because little impact has been made in the role. Neither is a desirable outcome. (For tips on onboarding, click here.)
We cannot stress enough how important it is to set goals and monitor progress via a performance management plan.
Not only that, but the goals need to be set in a way that challenge them (so they work hard for you) but are still achievable (so they don’t get overwhelmed or demoralised). If you’d like some guidance on effective goal setting, please do get in touch.
2. Provide constant feedback
Providing your people with feedback is so important. Too many line managers wait for the six month review to talk about an issue and that is far too late. If you're not providing them with frequent updates on how their work is going, how can they know if they are moving forward (or correct a mistake)?
There are two methods your line managers can try to improve the feedback process:
1. Give each team member weekly or monthly feedback so that they have an idea of where they stand and which areas need to be improved upon;
2. Respond as soon as a mistake is made or a piece of work is below expectations by taking time to sit with the individual to constructively critique the approach and provide recommendations for next time.
Either option will make a huge impact on performance and morale.
3. Praise them when they do well
Just as constructive criticism is important to fix a job done badly, praise is crucial to repeat a job done well. If you have an employee who is going above and beyond for you, it doesn't take a genius to work out that they deserve a pat on the back.
So, what are you waiting for? Don't be afraid of telling your employees when they're doing a good job – it will only serve to motivate them even more. Ways to do this include:
Sending them an email with thanks (so they have your praise in writing to use in their next review)
Emailing the team so everyone can learn of their hard work
Letting a senior leader know so that they can pop by to say thanks
Rewarding them with a coffee or lunch
4. Work out what motivates your people
We’ve given some examples of how you can show your appreciation of a task done well but what about longer term?
When people are intrinsically motivated, they can become extremely valuable members of a team and go the extra mile.
If you think about yourself and what motivates you in your role, what you come up with could be very different to what your colleagues or direct reports strive for. Do they aspire to be promoted and become a manager one day? Are they keen on attending training courses that will boost their skillset? Or do you think that a monthly massage would be more beneficial to them?
Instruct your line managers to build an understanding of what motivates each person in their team so that they can put in place plans to deliver those rewards in some way or another.
5. Empower them
Empowering your people means giving them the freedom and independence to do their job in the best way they see fit, without having to ask permission every time.
This may seem a bit risky to you, particularly if you have quite a junior workforce or even new starters, and if you do have concerns, then we can help you to build a programme whereby your teams can be given extra responsibilities but boundaries are also set to enable you to regain control if required.
By empowering your people, you'll be helping them to learn new skills and master existing ones. It will also give them a greater sense of ownership for projects and tasks that they carry out and can help improve company culture and morale.
6. Help your people learn (and continue learning)
It goes without saying that a good company culture includes a willingness to learn. After all, if you're not learning, you're stagnating. Helping your people learn is one of the best things you can do for them, as it will improve their skillset and help them grow both professionally and personally.
Fortunately, the possibilities for training are endless. From online learning, to hands on courses, you should be able to find the right coaching for any skills gap (and budget).
7. Create a collaborative culture that employees love to be a part of
Company culture is incredibly important. Even if you're a startup business, it's important that everyone feels like they are working together to achieve the same goals. Give everyone an equal voice and encourage them to share their ideas. This will help to prevent disagreements and create a strong foundation for future success by incorporating the best of all your team members' contributions.
Encourage all members of your team to excel in the areas that they are skilled in, while allowing others who might not be at their best in a particular area to focus on other projects where their skillset can be utilised.
When you create a culture that allows your team members to flourish, they will feel more motivated and positive about helping the company succeed.
So, there you have it. By following these tips, you can help your people become the best they can be and make your business a success in the process. Good luck!