Getting More from Your Employees
There are thousands of business books that will tell you how to manage your employees. Many of these resources can be useful. However, if you haven’t the time to delve into a book right now, here are some short and simple tips for improving the performance of your team.
1. Be clear with what you want.
Don’t be too general with your coaching. “Do better work” really doesn’t give an employee much to go on. Be clear and specific as to what you expect from him or her. That’s the way that they’ll know how to perform. Have clear goals and measurements so that both you and the employee understand what’s expected.
2. “Action” should be your mantra, not “attitude.”
Attitude is important, but there’s not a lot you can do to change how someone feels or what they think. Focus on their assignments and tasks and help them achieve what you need them to do.
3. Communicate your expectations.
This is not reciting what you want them to do—it means giving them some context around the assignment, like the type of results you want and the reasons they’re needed. Ask for and get the employee’s buy-in to produce these results.
4. Critique what you expect.
Give your employee the opportunity to perform and examine the results. Managers have a tendency to hone in to the areas of improvement, but don’t forget to be positive about other aspects of the employee’s work.
5. Compliment progress and hard work.
It doesn’t matter whether they say they like it or not, everyone wants to know that there’re doing a good job—and they also like to know that they’re doing a great job. This doesn’t have to be a cake in the break room for finishing a project on time. It may be a nice email, or better yet stop by their workstation and say “Nice job.” Positive reinforcement pays dividends.
6. Don’t accept poor performance.
If you are looking for performance improvement, and you’re not seeing it, you need to let the employee know about it. Just like praising an employee’s good performance (#5), you need to have a conversation about what’s not working well. Let them know that you’re disappointed and plan the steps they need to take to succeed.
These six reminders can help you manage your team to success. Don’t forget to be specific and make sure that you’re listening.
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