When you are a business manager, you are in the business of managing people. There are a lot of different tactics that can be taken in order to try and get the best results. There is the tactic of being the dictator, who employees are afraid to cross, the best friend, the mentor, etc. Each tactic has its own unique set of pros and cons. However, one universal truth is, that when people are treated with respect, and consideration, and are valued, they tend to put forth their best efforts and energies.
In order to achieve the result of a team of individuals who are cheerfully cooperating, and committed to their work, even excited to work and make a difference in the company, you have to manage for it. This is not something you can coerce, or bribe out of employees, rather it is a level of engagement that must be earned, and takes true leadership to achieve. Here are a few steps you can take as a business manager to help your employees reach the higher levels of engagement that result in better productivity, a happier workplace, and higher profitability:
1. Recognize the talents of your employees. Every employee, from the front desk receptionist, to the upper level management has a unique set of talents and abilities, that when leveraged and capitalized on can greatly improve a business. The best managers are the ones that recognize where those talents lie and encourage the use of them.
2. Encourage the development and use of those talents in the work environment. While it is true that each position in a business requires certain qualifications, it is important to remember that the people filling those positions have unique talents, and that as a manager you can optimize your workplace by asking each employee to utilize those talents in the completion of their job. Customize the jobs to fit the gifts of each individual.
3. Expect your employees to use their talents and abilities to their best level. Once you have recognized their talents, set accountability with them for the use of those talents. Let them know that you value them and their skills, and that you expect them to use those skills to the best of their ability. Then hold them accountable for doing so.
4. Recognize and reward productivity. Everyone likes knowing that their gifts and talents, contributions, hard work, and efforts are not going unnoticed. So, make a point of recognizing and rewarding (even if it is just verbal rewards) the efforts made by team members.
5. Inspire and motivate through example and commitment to employees. Just as you do not want your employees to be obedient but unhappy about it, or to just comply to your wishes, rather be cheerful about it and committed to it, you must be as well. Set the example for others to follow.
These five things take time to implement, but will make a work of difference when it comes to the most valuable assets a business has, its employees, and the intellectual property knowledge, and productivity of this workforce.