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Bring Out the Best in Your Staff

Motivating employees is one of the greatest challenges that a business owner experiences, here are a few tips that you may find useful.

Firstly, be sure you’re setting a good example of cheerfulness and don’t let your own moods distract employees from their work. Develop your listening skills, this means using active listening to its fullest potential, not just pretending interest!

Be clear about the purpose of the job, and the big picture of the company’s mission and goals. Foster pride in working at that company, whether it is designed to make the world’s best sandwich or build the world’s best bridge. Make sure everyone knows the big picture and where their department and individual jobs fit in.

Don’t let your personal likes and dislikes blind you to who is actually productive on the job. Be fair.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you have a good worker who is frequently 10 minutes late, let them know that you expect them to be on time, but don’t labour the point if their work is otherwise above average. Employees are human beings with strengths and weaknesses, not worker robots.

Set goals and reward the staff when the goals are achieved. The reward can be as simple as a star on the calendar and a bigger reward at the end of the month if there are enough stars for each day. It’s all about recognition. Make it an atmosphere where doing a good job is recognised and appreciated.

Be open, friendly, and professional with the staff, they’re your hard workers and deserve to be treated with respect, but remember, they are not and will never be your friends.

Encourage communication among people who have to work together. People may feel blocked in and unable to relate to coworkers when they’re hidden in a cubicle. Ask the staff how they would like to see the workspace organised and set up opportunities for people to work collaboratively.

If you have a problem employee, do not avoid the problem. Talk to that person and make sure they know what they’re doing wrong, as well as what they’re doing right. Make a plan and a time chart to correct problem behaviours. If the employee will not or cannot improve after several performance meetings, and it is in your power to do so, terminate their employment. It is very demoralising to the other staff members to have a fellow employee who isn’t pulling their weight.

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