by Renee Townsend
It happens all the time. A small business owner hires employees, who are energetic and hardworking in the early days, but seems to lose motivation as time passes. The employees have what it takes to excel in the organization, because they showed promise on day one. Yet now the owner faces a potentially endless situation of subpar work performance.
Sound familiar? Maybe you’re a business owner enduring this scenario right now. Or perhaps you were or are that employee who’s lost the motivation to put forth your best effort.
Poor work performance doesn’t have to be the norm in your business. Use these 5 techniques to create a strategic foundation or modify your current process to help improve work performance in your company.
1) Treat Employees as Individuals
Your employees aren’t drones. Each has different motivations and aspirations. If you’re marketing your business properly, you took time to identify your customers’ trigger points. Understanding your workers’ triggers is equally important. Learn what motivates and discourages your employees, so you can use techniques which propels them forward. Also be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. As Jim Collins said in “Good to Great,” You want to ensure the right people are in the right seats on the bus.
2) Establish Clear Expectations
Unless you’ve hired mind-readers, you’ll likely find yourself frustrated with your staff, if you don’t communicate effectively. Setting clear expectations is key to getting the desired results you want from employees. Consider approaching expectations with S.M.A.R.T. Goals in mind. That is, make your expectations specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based. An employee manual is an excellent way of establishing on-going expectations throughout your company.
3) Give Credit Where It’s Due
Yes, the work of your employees represents your company and even you. Furthermore, you’re responsible for the outcome, regardless of the individual delivering the work. However, that doesn’t mean you should take credit for the work of others, as if you are the sole deliver. Recognize your employees’ contributions, both to your in-house team and to your customers. Not only will it show your staff that you appreciate their efforts, but it’ll also provide a sense of security to your customers by highlighting a strong team.
4) Respond to Deficiencies
The route of least resistance is being complacent with unsatisfying situations in your business. However, the do-nothing strategy is what keeps you from reaching your goals. Look at mistakes, shortcomings, and weaknesses in employees as an opportunity to find ways to strengthen the position of your company. Some strategies may include providing additional training, reiterating expectations, or even hiring new employees to fill gaps. You want your company to be successful. Well, your employees want to be successful too. In the tradition of Jerry Maguire, help them help you.
5) Know When to Walk Away
The goal is to have the right people on the right seats on the bus. At times, you may find the need to remove the wrong people off the bus. No one wants to be a failure. However, if you’ve applied the strategies above and others, and your employee still isn’t being successful, failing is what they’re doing. It’s not your responsibility to help them make a habit of failing. You are also not obligated to allow unsuccessful employees to stay and harm your business.
In short, these strategies really come down to applying good communications and leadership skills. As a business owner, you are a leader in your organization, and those under your management are looking for guidance and direction to be successful. Give them what they need.
Renee Townsend is a Certified Professional Coach and Business Consultant, who has helped over 100 entrepreneurs with starting, growing, and running successful companies. Click here for instant access to Building Your Dream Team Guide.
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