As an owner of multiple businesses and a facilitator of business classes worldwide, a common topic of interest and often of frustration is dealing with employees, writes Simone Milasas.
How do you motivate your staff? Incentivise them? What inspires them to care about the business and its success as well as their own personal success? What do you do with disagreements and internal conflict within the company?
Whatever the specific concern may be, what if effective employee management can be much easier than you think?
5 tips to maximise the success of your business by optimising staff performance
Be the leader
Being a leader is not about creating followers who blindly do what they are told. True leadership is the ability to transform anything, empower people, and bring people forward with their capacities and enhance that.
True leaders recognise that “failure” is nothing more than the need for something to change, so rather than trying to control everything and everyone, leaders ask questions and allow their employees to make choices.
The conversation is the same whether a particular choice yields a positive or negative result.
Ask, “What awareness do you have now that you did not have before you made that choice?” Asking this question removes the judgment and the sense of failure. When people are not in judgment of themselves and others, everyone is empowered, their best capacities shine, and everyone benefits.
People need diversity
Although you hire people for a particular skill set, they also have other abilities and talents. When you limit people to one job description, you miss out on the value that they can add in other areas. You also risk their own boredom, which leads to the diminishment of productivity or potential loss of that employee. Ask your staff questions. Find out what else they would like to add and create.
Someone who works with me recently came to me and said, “I have been wondering if I need to quit my job, but then I realised I just need to add more things to what I am doing.” She suggested several things she desired to contribute, and I said, “Go for it!” She became enthused again, took on new projects, and continues to inspire all of us with brilliant ideas.
Give staff the greenlight
Ideas, inventions, projects and creations do not need to come from the top. It is not only people in management that should be creating the business. Everyone has something to offer.
When an idea is presented, regardless of whether or not you use it, listen, ask questions and consider it. When employees know that they are valued for their awareness and creativity and that they will not be dismissed or ignored when offering a suggestion, they develop confidence in themselves and the company. Their job is no longer just a paycheque. They recognise that they are valued, creating the desire to go above and beyond for the company and themselves.
Amazon had a policy that basically said, “Don’t say no.” If someone had an idea, the answer was yes and if you truly felt the answer needed to be no, then you were required to write a 5-page paper as to why.
When people are invited to have ideas, and there are not layers upon layers of approvals to get anything in motion, people are inspired, new ideas and inventions are created, and the business thrives.
Optimise staff strengths
All of us are good at some things and not others. You will have employees who are excellent at starting projects. When something is fresh and new, they are on it. It lights them up. They get things moving. For others it’s their worst nightmare to start a project, but they like to manage it and keep it on track.
Then there are those that shine at taking the project and exploding it into the world, carrying it across the finish line. I have talked to many people that had a project start off well, maintain well, and then all of a sudden, it derailed and they were trying to figure out why. I have experienced the same. I have come to realise that just because someone had the idea or was good at certain parts of the creation process did not mean they were the ones to actualise it in the world.
When you start something new, have a look at who is required for each part of the process. Don’t expect anyone to do it all. It sometimes takes a tribe.
Don’t have one-sided conversations
Throughout the years of doing business, I have had trials and tribulations in dealing with staff. An employee would not be doing their job well, or there were conflicts between them and others – whatever the situation would be, I often had a one-sided conversation. A one-sided conversation is all about conclusions and never about asking questions.
Conclusions with no questions equal a recipe for disaster. I would say to myself, “I don’t think this person wants this job anymore. They should leave or at least tell me.” I recognised that this wasn’t working; it was only creating the result I had decided it should be. I started engaging in a different way and asking staff, “Truth, do you still want this job?” and they would open up and tell me what was going on for them. Sometimes, they did not want the job anymore. Sometimes, they were simply bored and needed to add something else to work on. Other times, they wished to move to a different area within the company. Regardless of the specifics, what I saw was that when I asked questions, I had amazing conversations with people, and everyone benefitted.
Each of your employees is a gift. They have unique skills, capacities and awareness. If you are willing to stop seeing failure as bad and instead ask questions; if you are willing to allow employees to make choices, knowing that some will turn out well and others won’t; if you are willing to assist them in being honest about what they desire to create you will empower everyone around you to bring their best capacities forward. That way, everyone benefits.
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