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.

6 Tips For Properly Managing Your Employees

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

If you’re going to lead your team effectively, there’s a lot you need to know about the role. It’s not just about telling people what to do, not everyone is going to understand and interpret things in the same way. It comes down to you as the leader, to be able to communicate and properly handle everyone individually. A team can be quite intimate when it comes down to it, and you might not yet have what it takes to be an effective leader within your business. However, it’s something that you absolutely must learn if you want your business to progress efficiently.

Understanding them

Before you start being an effective leader, you need to put in the effort to greater understand your team. Everyone is different, and people work differently under different kinds of pressure. Some of your employees might struggle under pressure, some might be more confident in a team setting – either way, you should get to know them better so you can understand them. Once you know more about their strengths and weaknesses, you can assign tailored work to them, so that things can be done a bit more efficiently in the workplace.

Improving teamwork skills

It’s very important that when team exercises come up, that your team are able to work together efficiently. When the time comes for people to work together under pressure, it’s going to be hard for them to get along when they haven’t really had to chance to do so in a more controlled environment. Encourage team-building activities, and make sure that they have the opportunity to better get to know each other first. You don’t want people to have any kind of complications when there’s a time limit – so it’s better to first handle it in a controlled and more relaxed environment.

Staying organized

Managing a team can be hard, especially when you already have so many other things that you need to deal with. You should make sure you’re doing everything that you can to make it easier on yourself. For example, using a calendar scheduling tool to help you get things on track can greatly help to make your job easier. You’ll no longer have to keep an eye on whose doing what constantly – and your job as the manager will be much more organized. Losing track when trying to manage all of your employees can cost you a lot of time, and it’s something that’s much better avoided!

Creating a positive atmosphere

If you want people to be able to work effectively, then you need to take the actual workplace into consideration. If your office is dull and boring, it might be lacking the stimulation that your employees need to work effectively. You should also consider the rules that you have in place at work, as some might work better under different conditions. Making sure your employees are happy at work, while still maintaining a professional environment is very important. If you’re working on something that requires creativity, a dull workplace can really hinder that kind of thinking – so that that into consideration.

Lead by example

Managing your team is one thing, but you want to be someone that they respect and want to listen to. If you want to manage your team effectively, consider being a good leader and showing them that you’re working hard right alongside them. It doesn’t hurt to be a part of the team, and you’ll be someone that they look up to and wouldn’t want to let down. Being a manager isn’t all about setting other people’s work, you still have a part to play aside from them. 

Communicate effectively

No matter what you tell someone, if they’re having trouble understanding exactly what it is that you want, then it’s going to be difficult for both of you. Being an effective communicator is very important when you have people working under you. For big projects, it would be very inconvenient for you if you conveyed the wrong message, or improperly communicated what you wanted your employees to do. If you want to be a good manager, you have to be able to understand how you can communicate what you want and need from others.

Managing a team can be stressful at times, but if you understand the people who work for you, your job can be much easier and much more relaxed. You’ll have a better idea of what to say, and how to assign people their work, and you can be a lot more realistic with your goals.

Protecting Your Staff

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

When you start your own small business, there is a lot that you need to think about. You’ll be worried about boosting sales, defining your marketing strategy, finding your audience, scouting out the competition and recruiting and training staff. One thing that many small business owners neglect, is looking after those staff once they’ve been hired.

This is a mistake. Failing to look after your staff can mean that turnover is high, they’re not motivated to work to their best, that they don’t enjoy their jobs and it can even mean that you are open to lawsuits.

There are many ways to look after your team. You need to offer them flexible working and comfortable working conditions. You need to look after their emotional needs and make sure that they are treated fairly and with consideration. You have to protect them from any bias and workplace discrimination, and you need to protect them from injury and illness. It’s a lot to take on but offering your staff the correct protection can mean that they can do their jobs better, they are happier, they take less time off sick, and they work for you for a lot longer, allowing them to build their skills and become better at their jobs. It’s good for them, and it’s good for you.

Train Them

The first thing that you can do to protect your staff is offering them the training that they need to do their job safely, without endangering themselves and others. Don’t just give them a quick walkthrough and then throw them in. Spend time on a thorough training program, and buddy them up with a more experienced member of staff for a while before letting them work unsupervised. Then, offer extra training to anyone that needs it, and when anything changes.

The training program that you offer depends on the nature and specifics of your business. But, it should be in-depth, covering every area and not just the tasks they’ll be responsible for day to day.

Perform Risk Assessments

A crucial part of protecting your staff is knowing what it is they need protecting from. Performing regular, and adequate risk assessments gives you a chance to assess the environment of your workplace. To spot things that could be a risk to the health and safety of your staff, and to find ways to minimize that risk with training, avoidance, equipment, and precaution.

Make sure you do different risk assessments for groups like pregnant women, disabled staff and anyone else who might be at a higher risk, as your work environment may pose them different threats. Once completed, keep a record of these risk assessments, the findings and any changes that you have made to reduce risks, should you need them in the future.

Provide them with the Tools they Need

Training is the first tool that your employees need to keep themselves safe. Risk assessments are a tool for you to keep them safe. Then, there’s the industrial safety gear that your staff needs to do their jobs to the best of their ability without injury or accident. Don’t scrimp on this. Pay what you need to get it right, to keep your staff from getting hurt while they do their jobs.

Then, regularly take the time to check this gear, to make sure it’s still in good condition and working well. Replace it when it needs it, checking the market for updates and improvements before making your purchase.

Look After Machinery

Safety gear isn’t the only thing that you need to keep your team safe. You also need to make sure that any machinery and equipment that they use is safe, effective and free from danger. Check the basics yourself every day, install a cleaning and maintenance checklist to keep everything working well and have machines and equipment serviced regularly and repaired and replaced as needed.

Keep an Open Door

A crucial element of health and safety is communication. Your staff needs to be able to come to you if they have a problem, if they are ill or hurt, or if they are worried about their safety. They need to feel comfortable coming to you if they need to take time off, or if they are concerned about how the workplace is affecting your health. You also need them to come to you if they notice a problem with machinery, equipment or other staff, that needs addressing. So, make sure your workplace has an open-door policy. Encourage open communication and honest on the shop floor, and you’ll always know what’s going on.