When you grow a small business into a slightly bigger business, one thing is inevitable: You will eventually need to hire an employee and if you do well you will eventually end up with a team. But as soon as you take on that first member of staff your business gains a new challenge:
How can you ensure that your employees are working effectively?
Keep in mind that your staff don’t own the business and their only real motivation may be the money that they earn. In other words, as an employer it is important that you help your staff to be focused and motivated.
Image Credit: Office Worker Not Working
Here are 5 reasons why they might not be:
Noise / Distractions
How well do you work if you are distracted? Mostly don’t work particularly well if they face constant distractions or noises. This is where having a well organised and well-chosen office space is important.
Things like flickering lights (get them fixed), noise air conditioning units (get it serviced) or outside noise (close the window) can be distracting and even annoying if you have to live with them 8 hours a day.
Often trying to save money on cheap office space or not paying for servicing can be a false economy, so from now on, try to make your office noise and distraction free. And if your business calls for a lot of phone calls and meetings, consider getting a separate office space (or use dividers) to avoid too much noise pollution.
Boredom / Monotony
Not every job can be exciting every minute, but if you give your employees boring jobs they will get bored, simple as that. If boring tasks are absolutely necessary (which they probably are) try to divide the work load between a few people.
Do your best to give employees at least a few slightly more interesting tasks, or consider allowing them some time for professional development. You may think that this lowers their productive output, but you may find that they product more ‘output’ in 5 hours broken up with more stimulating tasks than if they just spend 7 hours straight on something mind-numbing.
If all else fails, you may have to just accept that your staff will be less-productive because they have a boring job. But always ask yourself, could you spend 8 hours a day doing their job?
Lack Of Motivation
You probably love your business, but your employees probably don’t, in fact most of them would likely leave if they didn’t need the money. So how can you keep your staff motivated?
Well staff motivation is a complex issue and there are lots of options. Interestingly, paying them more may not be a good way to get more out of them. Instead consider ways to make them invested in your business.
Often, just being supportive and giving them opportunities to progress is enough – they have to be motivated to want to progress of course, but if you make it clear that opportunities exist, your best employees will work for them.
Many businesses will even ‘invent’ positions in order to keep their best employees rather than risk losing a valuable asset who might otherwise leave and work for the competition.
Unhappy / Uncomfortable
At the end of the day employees need to be happy where they work. Comfort matters a lot because if you don’t enjoy being at work you will be miserable (and hence, unmotivated).
Keeping your staff comfortable and happy can take many forms, from keeping them warm in winter (don’t scrimp on heating costs) and cool in summer (don’t scrimp on air con bills) to making time for team-building and socialising.
Most important is giving employees the opportunity to bring their grievances to you and being approachable and supportive when they do. If anything you or anyone else does makes a member of staff unhappy, you need to know about it and your staff need to know that you care enough to fix it whenever you can.
A good start is implementing a feedback system, because you never know how your staff really feel until they tell you. Just be prepared to take criticism on board and assess it objectively.
Bad Fit For Your Business
Ok so you have invested in your staff, you have regular social time and you give them plenty of opportunities to take on more responsibility. You have given all of your employees some interesting work and you try to minimize the boring tasks…
You have even doubled your budget for bills so that the office is always a nice temperature and there is no unnecessary noise or anything else that might be distracting. But still one or two members of staff don’t give you the output you hope for.
It may simply be that you have hired the wrong people. Don’t worry, it happens, not everyone can be the right fit for your business, and when you become an employer this might be the biggest challenge that you face. Be ready to objectively make that decision and take the steps that are necessary.
About The Author
This guest post was written by George from Andrew’s Air Conditioning Services, who offer A/C servicing for offices and small businesses. Thanks for reading.