WORK­PLACE

Ways to make your staff more pro­duc­tive

Business Daily (Kenya) - - FRONT PAGE - 1. BE YOUR­SELF 2. CRE­ATE A CUL­TURE OF TRANS­PARENCY AND FEED­BACK 3. KNOW EACH IN­DI­VID­UAL 4. AP­PRE­CI­ATE GOOD WORK 5. EM­POWER THEM WITH THE BEST TECH­NOL­OGY

As a man­ager, one of your big­gest re­spon­si­bil­i­ties is to in­spire other peo­ple to be the best ver­sions of them­selves. If done well, ev­ery­one on your team will not only be more pro­duc­tive and ef­fi­cient, but also hap­pier with their jobs. One of the hard­est chal­lenges, es­pe­cially for new man­agers, is to bal­ance this lead­er­ship mind­set (fo­cus­ing on help­ing other peo­ple) while still find­ing ways to get your own work done.

Whether you have read count­less lead­er­ship books, have been man­ag­ing oth­ers for a long time or got thrust into a po­si­tion ill-pre­pared, lead­ing em­ploy­ees and em­pow­er­ing them to do good work is an art that can be learned just like pro­gram­ming skills or rid­ing a bike. While there is no pre­scrip­tive and guar­an­teed method to be­come the “best leader ever,” there are many ac­tion­able things you can do to en­sure your em­ploy­ees are con­stantly headed in the right di­rec­tion. Here are 10 tac­ti­cal ways to help your em­ploy­ees be more pro­duc­tive — a great foun­da­tion for fu­ture lead­er­ship suc­cess. There is no re­place­ment for au­then­tic­ity. Peo­ple can sense fak­e­ness! Hav­ing to put on a face with your em­ploy­ees ev­ery day can not only lose their trust, but it also makes work less en­joy­able for you.

There’s no need to over­com­pen­sate with cer­tain lead­er­ship styles based off of how other peo­ple lead -es­pe­cially if it is out of your com­fort zone. Be­hav­ing in a man­ner that is con­sis­tent with your be­liefs and val­ues will give you more en­ergy each day and it will send a mes­sage to your em­ploy­ees to be them­selves.

While many man­agers are afraid to do this, ad­mit­ting when you are wrong is cru­cial to build­ing an hon­est and trans­par­ent cul­ture where ev­ery­one can feel free enough to be their best at work. For me, this starts at the high­est level. So if you’re the CEO, learn to ad­mit when you’re wrong.

Some­times, as we sit in a lead­er­ship role, we think have to demon­strate con­trol and al­ways be right. Yet, it ac­tu­ally shows more courage to ad­mit when you don’t know the an­swer or that you made a mis­take.

Do­ing so will es­tab­lish a layer of trans­parency with your em­ploy­ees and pro­mote a cul­ture of learn­ing. In the long view, it will al­low you to change your ideas and ten­den­cies with­out need­ing to main­tain your ego. It’s hard to re­mem­ber that Jan told you her daugh­ter broke an arm and that Jose’s fa­ther-in-law was in town for the week­end. Fol­low­ing up on the lit­tle things ev­ery Mon­day morn­ing shows a gen­uine care for your em­ploy­ees.

Ask­ing about some­thing that you know has been go­ing on in some­one’s life or check­ing in on some­one when they seem a bit down can build a stronger con­nec­tion be­tween you and ev­ery team mem­ber.

With this con­nec­tion will come an op­por­tu­nity to un­der­stand what mo­ti­vates your em­ploy­ees, what they en­joy do­ing and what they are work­ing to­ward. When an em­ployee knows that their boss cares about their suc­cess, they’ll have more mo­ti­va­tion to work and they’ll feel an obli­ga­tion to work hard for you. Plus, it will make it eas­ier to give con­struc­tive feed­back when they know you have their best in­ter­ests at heart. Giv­ing recog­ni­tion for work that was is lack­ing can set a bad prece­dent. While the line can some­times be hard to draw, be­ing at­ten­tive to the ef­fort, growth and out­put of your em­ploy­ees will al­low you to give them proper recog­ni­tion.

Many staff are so caught up in their own worlds and won’t give each other the recog­ni­tion they de­serve, so be­ing the one to ap­plaud good work can keep mo­ti­va­tion lev­els high and show much needed recog­ni­tion.

You’ll be sur­prised how much a “good job” goes with some peo­ple. It can make the dif­fer­ence be­tween a happy and pro­duc­tive em­ployee vs. some­one who leaves your com­pany.

SO IF YOU’RE THE CEO, LEARN TO AD­MIT WHEN YOU’RE WRONG

Peo­ple of­ten spend hours on tasks that can be au­to­mated or highly sped up with tech­nol­ogy. Most of the time, it’s ac­tu­ally cheaper to pay for things like cal­en­dar au­to­ma­tion than it is to sched­ule meet­ings man­u­ally. There are so­lu­tions for many things to­day that you might not even know ex­ist.

Take a look at the tasks em­ploy­ees are do­ing, es­pe­cially the mo­not­o­nous ones that bother them. Spend­ing the time to find so­lu­tions that can au­to­mate or speed up those tasks will not only make them more pro­duc­tive, but also a lot hap­pier.

--FOTOSEARCH

WORK­PLACE An em­ployee takes stock of prod­ucts at a store.

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