Getting the Best Performance Out of Your Employees
by Elizabeth Gordon
How do you create flourishing™ employees? You empower them to do what they do best. I use the word empower because you can be in control of that action. Empowering flourishing employees is something that successful businesses do in the way that they treat and give direction to the people who work for them. Many businesses pay lip service to the idea that their employees are their most important asset, but few actually follow through on this statement.
Using management techniques that include the coaching methodology will enable you to get far more out of your people than you would by using a dictator style of leadership. Here are five simple ideas to help your employees flourishing. Some of these might seem odd for a work-environment at first, but as an employer, you need to see your employees as the whole person that they are. You need to recognize that a good employee brings more to the table than simple labor; they bring their thoughts, ideas, unique gifts and even genius in some cases. If you just need labor, hire a mule. If you have hired a person, then allow that person to do what they do best. If you can create an environment that will allow your employees to tap into their inner genius and use their unique talents, you can leverage these things for your business success. Employers should create a work environment that encourages growth, creativity and efficiency in their employees.
Allow your employees a reading time break (and I don't mean an email reading break). One of the smartest things you can do as a business owner or sales professional is to set aside a half an hour everyday to read. This is one of the single most powerful things you can do to increase your effectiveness as a person. If this is true, then why wouldn't you pay your employees to do the same thing? Setting aside just thirty minutes a day for your employees to read the latest in your industry's advances or simply read the newspaper can increase the productivity of your workforce. This principal extends to exercise and positive thinking and all the best success strategies as well.
Be a positive and authentic leader. People learn by watching. So give them a positive role model to emulate by being your best. Commit to being open and honest with your employees. People have a sixth sense for honesty. If you have integrity and are honest with your people and they see you as someone who is authentic and genuine, they will be much more likely to follow you where ever you want them to go. We all make mistakes from time to time, but by showing your people that you are someone they can trust, that you stand by your word and that are authentic and true to yourself and your values, they will follow you. Internal gossip mills can destroy the sense of trust that employees have in their employer and ultimately in the mission of the business. People like to gossip. If you give them material they will do it. You do not want people talking behind your or anyone else's back, so don't give them any material.
Cultivate your own personal power and your leadership skills. To become a successful person, you need to figure out how to optimize your own performance. To become a successful leader, you need to learn how to optimize someone else's performance. By continually looking for ways to bring out the best in yourself, you inspire your people to do the same. This is how you create a culture of continuous improvement.
Tell them why you hired them and show them how they link to the success of the company. Set the expectation with people before hiring them that you expect them to play an important role in helping the company to successfully achieve certain goals through the use of their skill set. Let them know what success would look like and then empower them to help the organization achieve that success by using their talents and their own personal genius. A job should bring out the talents in an employee. Otherwise, it's the wrong job for them. Employees who have high rates of job satisfaction tend to work harder and smarter. It's a high standard, but the right one to insist upon.
Find out what their goals are and then create a link between what they do at work to how they can ultimately achieve their goals. If your employees have no goals, these are probably not the kind of people that you want working in any kind of key position. Ambition and goal setting illustrate focus, intelligence, long term thinking. All top performers have goals.
Be selective when choosing an employee It is an employers' market and employers should take their time and never make hiring decisions based on desperation or time constraints. Too many people wait until they are desperate to hire before they start looking. They force themselves into a bad position of hiring the first person they can find who has a pulse. By being desperate, they take themselves out of the power position. When you lose power you lose choice and when you lose your power for choice, you increase your odds of making a poor decision. And poor hiring decisions are costly in terms of time and money, two resources that are at a premium at most small companies.
Don't squander your limited resources by making rushed hiring decisions. Instead plan ahead, start making a list of the skills and traits that you would like to add to the organization before you are desperate. And put the word out early, maybe even before you are ready to hire. That way you can practice a bit. Sometimes the exercise of interviewing candidates helps you to gain clarity on exactly what you are looking for and what you do not want. Interviewing people is free. Hiring the wrong person is expensive.
Get them exited and passionate about their job and your company using culture. Culture is the shared values of the company. Make your company stand for something people want to believe in. A company's culture is its personality. Your company culture is one of the ways in which you differentiate your business from competitors. Most employers focus on the "what," when they are training employees or evaluating employee performance. What tasks they want completed. Often times they neglect to also instill the "how" in their employees' minds. A strong culture tells people how to do their work and it is the underlying factor affecting motivation, morale, creativity, and ultimately your success in the marketplace. A strong culture will help you create employees who are engaged and have high morale, motivation and productivity. It also facilitates strong teamwork and cooperation across departments and functional areas. Ultimately your customers see your culture in the form of a product or service that holds true to the sales and marketing promises it was sold under.
Companies with a strong, dynamic, and adaptive culture that is aligned to their business goals and their target market's wants and needs, routinely outperform their competitors. When people don't really believe in what they are doing, customers can sense this, and often it comes through loud and clear in the form of poor attention to detail, lack of urgency and consistency, and a tendency to just enough and nothing more. These are all the things which customers perceive to be a reflection of the quality and service that they can expect from you business. Your employees often have as much, if not more, interaction with your customers or at least with the end products or services that you are providing.
People who like their job, do a good job. People who are highly satisfied by their jobs have good feelings about their supervisors and coworkers. This feeling is cultivated through open, honest communication and fair treatment in the workplace. They also believe in the mission. Everyone likes to feel that they are part of something larger than themselves, that they have a higher purpose. If you can get your employees to feel excited about the larger purpose of your company, you can get the best out of them.
If you take these five tips and utilize them in your workplace you will begin to see results in the months and years to come. By hiring happy, hardworking employees you will keep them with you longer and watch them grow and flourish™ with your business. To learn more about how to make your business a Flourishing Business™ visit www.flourishingbusiness.com.
About the Author
Elizabeth Gordon, founder and President of The Flourishing Business, LLC, is a visionary leader who has a passion for helping others achieve their entrepreneurial dreams and enjoy more of the best in life. With a vast and diverse background in many business arenas, Elizabeth regularly has the opportunity to share her business acumen with clients, large and small. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Women.