You might recognise the scene: the directors have big plans for the business and are making changes to established work patterns to achieve them. But some staff are less than enthusiastic and others downright disruptive. The problem is: how can you get all your staff on board and working 100% towards the new business goals? How can you increase staff productivity?
Well that’s what I’ve been working on with a client company recently. Like most businesses, the managers put the problems down to difficult staff. They claim they are unmotivated, disruptive, unproductive and all the rest. But to get the results and the outcome the managers want, there needs to be an appreciation of everyone’s needs as well as everyone’s personality and only then can the business needs be addressed successfully.
I organise a fun session where staff and managers together learn what makes each other tick, how they respond best to instructions, how they like to be managed and how they like to be appreciated. Not everyone needs a pat on the back, while for others having the control to do the job as they like within time constraints is most important. A manager must know their staff as individuals to get the most out of them.
Next I’ll speak to key staff in the business privately to find out their personal views on what’s great about the business, what could be improved, and how their own job could be performed better. As well as the many positives this always brings out personal grievances. And it’s the tackling of these grievances by the management that will ensure motivation is improved.
Once the managers understand the grievances that are leading to reduced staff motivation and productivity and the lack of co-operation with business plans, then it’s upto the managers to bring in or promise changes for the individual that will result in their increased commitment to the company.
Sometimes the staff have got too comfortable and are “treading water” in the business. If I suspect this, then I will encourage them to seek a better life for themselves and work towards their own personal dreams which might involve leaving their current role and looking for a position in a different organisation. That option might be the best outcome for the individual – and the business.
In my opinion, responsibility for achieving company goals is not only borne by the managers but should be shared with staff. Your staff are more motivated and productive when they understand how they can contribute to the business goals & changes so take time to discuss your overall plans with them. This makes them more certain of their future, where they fit in it and how they can contribute.
Your staff really are your biggest cost so it’s well worth investing more than a little time to ensure you are getting the most out them.