Trying to get the most out of your staff requires a careful balance. You want to motivate, encourage and reward – not push, nag and over-tire. Your staff are all human beings, not robots, and many will have families to get home to at the end of each day, just like yourself. So telling your staff to work a little longer to get a project complete is never going to go down too well. Instead, here are some tips to encourage staff to work to complete the project in time, without sounding like a bad boss!
Value staff throughout the year
Just because projects are stacking up now, doesn’t mean you start your praise right now. It could come across a little shallow. You need to value your staff throughout the year so they feel committed to you and loyal to the job. It may be that they even volunteer to work the extra hours for your company themselves, because they care about the job and about the project itself. Maybe they have spent many hours working on it too, and want to see it come to fruition. The importance in valuing your staff throughout the whole business year cannot be underestimated.
Treat your staff
If you’re expecting your team to work late, say you’ll get in dinner for them to make up for it. These small gestures can really help when you are asking a lot for your staff. Better yet, and linked with the point above, treat your staff throughout the year. Maybe you could invest in weekly fruit baskets, so staff could have fresh fruit on their desk. Not only does this show your staff that you care about their health and wellbeing, but it can help them work more productively because fruit is better than usual unhealthy snacks like crisps/chocolates. In fact, Fruitful Office say that when they deliver their fruit baskets, managers see a real improvement in their staff motivation and the process is quick and easy. Simply order online, and get fruit delivered fresh to your door. It is no real effort to you as a manager, but it can be a real treat to your staff.
It is important to recognise when staff have gone above and beyond what was expected of them. Make sure to not only praise staff at the time, but note these achievements down in their appraisals, which you should be completing once a year. Having these tasks written down on paper can help staff to solidify their work achievements and even put this information onto their CV for the future. You should always be helping and supporting your staff with professional development. Encourage training, courses and other professional endeavours to help your staff achieve their full potential.
Treat staff like individuals
It is important that you view staff like snowflakes, according to inc.com. Tailor your approach to your staff’s individual needs. They say that ‘many appreciate public praise. Others cringe if they’re made the centre of attention. Know your employees and tailor your recognition so it produces the greatest impact for each individual.’
By valuing your staff as ‘snowflakes’ you’ll be able to adapt your approach to them and ultimately get more out of them in the long run. So, if there’s the occasional late night, it should transpire that staff want to help you out – the company out – and themselves out – by committing to a few more hours.