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Sylvia Giltner

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5 Common Employee Engagement Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by Sylvia Giltner on Mon, Oct, 01, 2018 @ 05:10 AM

 

Management’s relation to their office staff can often make or break a company. Employees are often engaged with a company not because of salary or love for a given industry. They are more likely there because they share a common vision, goals and values of the company they work for.

However, mismanaging employees can lead to several awkward situations. In order to avoid those, managers, team leaders, and HR should be aware of common employee engagement practices which are bound for failure. Let’s take a look at several examples and how you can avoid them and build stronger employee relations.

  1. Failure to communicate

The employees you work with are part of a bigger picture, just like you are as their manager. Communicating your briefings, thoughts, feedback, and criticism effectively is an important part of your everyday interaction. Chris Mercer, CEO of Citatior spoke about his writers’ team recently: “I like to think of my team as an extension of my family. We share Skype meals, help each other out of short deadlines and back each other up when a tough client comes by. This has led to a much more comfortable working environment as I make sure that everyone gets along.”

Don’t avoid your team members and office staff just because they are lower on the office hierarchy. Instead, offer them a friendly smile and ask them how their day went. A small consideration can go a long way in ensuring your employees are content and ask you for your personal and professional opinion from time to time.

  1. No role-models

Whether you are a part of upper management or a project manager, your employees are likely to look up to you from a distance. While you are most likely not the ideal professional they imagined, you should make sure that they see you that way.

Role models are a huge part of office culture and people frequently use these individuals to set their own professional goals. Be an example people can use to develop their own skills and grow in the organization. Help a member of your staff or an intern in front of everyone to inspire your colleagues. Failing to act like a professional can result in poor corporate culture and a lack of trust and teamwork.

  1. Micromanagement

Project managers are responsible for work delegation and project management. However, this doesn’t constitute micromanagement in the traditional sense. Micromanaging someone else’s work can be a double-edged sword. The project might go the way you planned personally, but you will lose a lot of respect and credibility with your employees.

Worse yet, they might be demoralized by your micromanagement if you communicate they are not doing their jobs right. James Daily, a project manager at FlashEssay was recently quoted about his experience as a team leader: “I had a hard time finding a balance between micromanagement and team autonomy. Once I realized my coworkers are just as capable as I am, I decided that the best course of action for a leader is to act as support.”

Trust your employees know what they are doing and encourage them to come to you for any help they need. Be available and offer a help but never place your actions and opinions on others. You will build a much healthier, development-driven office culture.

  1. Little to no coaching

Coaching plays a pivotal role in employee development and overall satisfaction. No employee will stay loyal to a company if they are not growing their professional and personal skills. In order to boost your office’s retention rate, provide supportive coaching to your employees.

Make time for one-on-one conversations about their employment satisfaction, set goals for the next quarter and check in with them from time to time. If employees notice you care about their development, they will be more satisfied with what they are doing and motivate others to work just as hard.

  1. Recognition

Whether you are in charge of junior staff members or experienced employees, recognition is important. As a project manager or a shift supervisor, you are in charge of ensuring projects are completed on time and on budget. This does not mean taking credit for all the work being done.

Natalie Andersen, HR manager at GetGoodGrade spoke about her experience with employee recognition: “Sending order after order without a “thank you” in between rarely works long-term. Employees deserve to be recognized for the work they do at the company, even if it amounts to verbal gratitude.”

Make sure to put in a good word for your coworkers and celebrate small successes as they happen. Recognition can really make someone’s day when they work hard to finish a project on time. Failing to do so will result in a severe drop in morale and productivity, not to mention the subsequent retention rates which will undoubtedly take a hit.

Ongoing engagement (Conclusion)

Being on good terms with your employees is an ongoing commitment. It’s not enough to do one good deed a month and check the employee engagement box. Build a support system for your employees to motivate them. Don’t treat coworkers as cheap labor and opt for a more professional approach. Once you establish a new office culture, you will be surprised at the results of healthy work relations.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-wearing-black-dress-pants-and-brown-dress-shirt-1080848/

Tags: employee engagement

6 Ways to Empower Your Employees to Be More Productive

Posted by Sylvia Giltner on Sun, Jun, 03, 2018 @ 16:06 PM

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Being a manager or a team leader can be difficult to process. While you are in charge of a group of people and have the place of authority, you also have a duty to your employees. In most cases, productivity and employee motivation is a direct reflection of their manager’s mood, experience and overall character.

This can make it difficult for young, inexperienced managers to effectively motivate employees to be engaged and  productive. Luckily, employee motivation isn’t anything new in the corporate world, so let’s take a look at some actionable and effective tips that can help you raise productivity and morale across the board.

  1. It’s not about the money

It’s true that we work for money and the ability to sustain ourselves in a modern capitalist society. However, most employees are unmotivated and lack productivity for very different reasons.

Low salary is very rarely the reason for a lack of productivity, which means you should steer clear of “bribing” employees with bonuses. Instead, communicate your displeasure with their overall (not individual) productivity.

Don’t point fingers at anyone (even if you might know who the real detractors are) and focus on the bigger picture instead. Emphasize you are also an employee like themselves and you are there for them if they need you. This will create a good starting point for your relationship and a foundation upon which productivity can be restored.

  1. Happiness versus Motivation

Don’t misinterpret employee happiness with motivation and productivity. For example, if you give your employees a box of chocolate each, they will be happier – but not more productive.

Productivity is often associated with professional development, working environment dissatisfaction, coworker misunderstandings, too much overtime, etc. It’swise to openly discuss these topics with your employees in order to determine what the real issue is.

Remember you are also under the microscope of your own manager or CEO. If the employees aren’t productive, the results will reflect that, after which you will have to explain what is going on. Make sure to have the right answers for your own boss and start communicating with your coworkers as soon as possible.

  1. Be a role-model

As we’ve mentioned before, managers and team leaders are often seen as role-models. Your coworkers, employees and office staff will most likely have aspirations for professional development. This means that they will pay close attention to the way you walk, talk and act with those inferior to you (professionally speaking).

Veronica Wright, CEO of ResumesCentre says: “The better the managers are at their own work, the better their employees will be for it”. Make sure to arm everyone with relevant company information, take your position and job description seriously, as well as smile to everyone. Sometimes all it takes is to look in the mirror and ask yourself what “you” are doing wrong instead of looking for a culprit on the office floor.

  1. Voicing concerns

It’s quite common for employees to keep their mouths shut when they have something to say – the prospect of being punished is too much to handle. This means that there is often a lot left unsaid and coworker relations tend to tense and buckle under the pressure.

People that don’t talk to each other will often work poorly together, not to mention the fact that important projects rest on their shoulders. Try implementing a feedback-oriented working environment in your office starting with yourself. There is no better way to break the ice than to simply start from your own experiences, thoughts and fears.

Employees that share common issues, goals and clear the air through professional communication are far more likely to be productive. While it may seem silly for grownup people to share thoughts around the table, clearing the air like this can completely transform your office’s workflow.

  1. Level the playfield

Most office conflicts stem from misunderstandings between employees and management. Managers often forget where they started their career while employees constantly claim their managers doesn’t understand them.

This catch-22 is quite common in the corporate world and is a root cause of poor productivity, low retention rates and a lack of morale. Managers that want to boost their employees’ productivity should work to leveling the playing field between management and employees. Remember you are all employees of the same company – the difference is only in your job description.

If you claim that you are “better” than your staff, it will likely end in a disaster. Pull up a chair, ask your employees how they feel today and ask them if they need help. Chances are that their eyes will widen with disbelief at first, which will lead to a much healthier professional relationship between you.

  1. Showcase and reward

Lastly, it’s important to share in your successes and take responsibility for your failures. The best and most beloved managers know when to reward someone and when to take the blame. Pointing fingers when going gets tough and claiming the rewards when it strikes gold will quickly erode your employees’ morale and productivity.

Be the example that your employees can really look up to and try to reward their productivity in small but significant ways. Even an “employee of the week” system with a collective clap from everyone can drastically brighten the mood.

James Scott, CEO of EssaySupply notes: “Do what you can to make sure that your employees feel important and that they matter to the company. This is the best way to increase productivity and company loyalty across the board. It will not only make your results shine but also put you in good graces with your own manager for the good work you have done.”

 

Long-form empowerment (Conclusion)

Employee empowerment only works if you take definitive action – a long-term commitment with a constant risk of failure. However, being on good terms with the people you work with is worth fighting for.

You will not only bring good results to your company but also create friendships with the people you work with. Being casually professional can work just as being strict and to-the-letter. Make sure to strike a good balance and be there for your employees when they need you.

Tags: empowerment, employee engagement, employee empowerment, loyal employees