Unleashing Potential In The Workplace

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

If ever there was a time that the world was changing fast, that time is now.  As hard as it may seem to believe given our current soupcon of pandemic induced chaos, there’s actually never been a better time to rethink your business plan or model and make a few changes and the best place to start mining new ideas – your workforce.

Effective leadership goes far beyond knowing how to manage your employees and includes topics of conversation around how inclusive your teams are in decision making and what ideas they have to contribute beyond “business as usual”.

So to fully understand how to unleash the hidden potential of your workforce, we need to reverse engineer a few processes first.

KNOW WHO YOUR PEOPLE ARE.

In a top ten type of guide, this one fact should be repeated at least 5 times and the best way to start, is to interview your team from scratch – but this time, instead of recruiting for an available position, interview them as if you were interviewing them for their dream job, and tell them that that’s what you’re doing.

This is an easy and informal way to find out all the hidden talent that your team has.  Remember that you recruited them for a specific role, but that hardly means that that’s all they’re able to offer and if they haven’t been contributing at full tilt – that’s an internal conversation well worth having.

KNOW WHAT YOUR PEOPLE CAN DO – BUT AREN’T DOING NOW (AND WHY).

Linked to the previous point, once you’ve reinterviewed your team you should have a clearer idea of what it is that they do currently and what they potentially could contribute over and above what they’re already doing.  This is a real-time method of identifying gaps in skills or areas of “overqualification” and it’s an exciting way to design a career path towards promotion.  You get all the additional skills and intellectual contributions without a brand new recruitment drive and your team member gets a new job.  Then, ask yourself and your managers – why?  This is a non-confrontational and blameless exercise. the point is to grow.

DON’T JUST RECOGNIZE TOP PERFORMERS – REWARD THEM.

It’s time to go back to the drawing board as far as employee incentives are concerned.  Meet your team members “where they’re at” and incentivize based on career and life goals.  It’s seldom a good idea to incentivize with cash, at least not when you’re hoping to achieve long-term effects.

DO YOU REALLY VALUE DIVERSITY?

Study upon study has shown that increased diversity in your workforce almost always leads to increased profits and that’s a great motivator, but it should not be the sole motivator of encouraging and supporting a diverse workforce.  Society has changed and is changing ever more yet and companies all over the globe are seeking out organisations that value achieving growth through shared values and this increasingly means supporting and growing your diversified workplace and if you can’t do it internally, then seek out HR support from Syndeo to get you the expert guidance you need to achieve this goal and more.

Remember that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link and you can make sure that no one in your team is the weak link.

Can You Work Together?

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Working together might sound like the kind of statements that don’t belong in the modern world. Indeed, with more and more remote workers and digital clients, the idea of maintaining a sense of togetherness feels overrated. But, unfortunately, you’d be wrong to ignore the importance of building and managing a solid team. Ultimately, when employees are the primary assets of success in your business, you need to give all your attention to how your people engage with each other, within the company and create the overall spirit within the workplace. So, naturally, the question of how your team work together and if they can work together at all.

First of all, it’s essential to understand that there are several obstacles to a useful and productive team. The key to guaranteeing high-quality collaboration in the workplace is to identify what could be an issue and how to solve it. As a rule of the thumb, you need to assume that most companies have to invest in their team improvement strategies. The secret is to know where the investment is going to make a difference!

Do you use collaborative tools?

The ages of people sitting in front of their desks and only communicating through face-to-face meetings or phone calls are long gone. Nowadays, successful businesses that manage to encourage high productivity within their team have had to invest in collaborative tools. For large teams, remote-based teams, and international teams, you can combine projects and manage common efforts through a communication tool, Slack. This is a helpful tool to manage cross-team projects and maintain open information. You can also rely on planning tools such as Doodle, which can keep large projects on track by encouraging every participant to give their input on time. Thankfully, you can rely on digital techs to introduce positive collaborative habits within your team. Most issues related to delays in projects, information not being passed on time, or deadline and specs confusion can be tackled through the right tools.

Can your employees work as a team?

Sometimes, the only problem within your team is that people don’t know each other well. With long working hours and often extended commute – as more and more employees live up to 1 hour 30 of their workplace –, it’s not easy for your staff to be in a position to establish a trust bond with colleagues. But you can help them and create a trustworthy space in which they can develop the proper team building spirit your business need. At the heart of it, team building is about people sharing tasks and combining forces towards one single goal. That’s precisely where escape rooms offer a fantastic immersive experience that introduces new bonds without the pressure of work projects. 

Do you provide effective leadership?

You might be an innovative entrepreneur, but being a leader is a different kettle of fish. If you’re experiencing troubles with your leadership skills or if you’re not feeling confident about them, you might affect your team more than you know. Indeed, ineffective leadership can result in employees suffering from low morale and confusion. When the direction lacks clarity, your employees find it hard to engage with the company and the rest of the team. They feel demoralised and negative about their work performance. In the long term, this can influence not only the productivity but also the quality of their input and increase staff turnover.

Do you intentionally ignore conflicts?

Conflicts happen in everyday life. While you can ignore bickering and mean comments that occur when people are exhausted or are having a bad day, you need to acknowledge a conflict situation before it escalates too much. It is your role to help when employees can’t sort it out themselves. You can encourage an open conversation and ensure that nobody monopolizes the conversation as they work their way through the resolution. Additionally, you need to learn to listen carefully to what is said when a person speaks. It’s a good tip to rephrase what has been told to ensure you’ve understood the problem.

Is your team overworked?

How much does your team work? Don’t worry if you don’t know the answer. But you need to pay attention to their workload. While most teams can handle short periods of overtime to finish critical projects, you can’t expect them to maintain their productivity and effectiveness for a long period. Overwork decreases not only the overall quality and quantity of output but it also dramatically affects the general mood in the workplace. People begin to feel disengaged with current projects and develop a cynical approach to new ideas and interactions. Gradually, this attitude is likely to lead to broken teamwork.

The bottom line is that the more you look after your team, the better your business will be. So, if you’re experience productivity or quality issue, take the time to consider other explanations before blaming it on a lazy employee.