Category : Staff Management

Tips On Giving Your Employees The Best Work Environment Possible

It is said that we are all products of our environment, so it makes sense that creating a good one for your employees is important.

A positive workspace means that people are able to focus more easily, be more productive and will also feel much happier during their working day.

Check out our tips for giving your employees the best possible working environment.

Improve the lighting

Poor lighting will make it harder for staff to concentrate on their work and in some environments such as salons and factories, could lead to mistakes being made.

There is also a link between lighting and mood, with it being proven that more natural light will make people feel happier.

If it’s possible, place desks near to windows so that there is natural light coming through while people are working.

If your office lacks windows, choose blue-enriched bulbs for light fittings, as these can reduce fatigue and help improve performance.

Ensure the office is clean and tidy

Nobody wants to work in a messy space, so keeping things neat and tidy is imperative if you want your team to remain focussed.

Ensure there is some designated time set aside each week for sweeping, vacuuming and wiping down sides and also invest in some good storage so that paperwork and files can be neatly organised.

Add personal touches

Clinical spaces are never much fun to work in, so to overcome this add some personal touches that will make employees feel more at home.

You could ask people what their favourite flowers are and put these in vases on the table or have photos on the wall from staff nights out.

All of these things will create a friendlier, more comfortable work space and will ensure your team is happy.

Improve communication

A team of people and what they are able to achieve is mostly dictated by one thing.

Communication.

Strong communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and understands what needs to be done in order to hit targets and do well.

Depending on your management style you should work on having better communication with all of your employees.

This could be in the form of weekly meetings, monthly reviews or social evenings every couple of months.

Whatever it is, make sure it suits your team and you’re sure to see things improve.

Tips For Managing Staff When Working Remotely

In today’s fast-paced and increasingly digitised society, it is easier than ever for staff to work remotely.

A lot of jobs only require people to have access to a phone and computer, so working remotely is an obvious choice that can help companies save on some of their overheads.

When it comes to managing staff that work remotely, it can be slightly more challenging as you don’t have the daily face to face interaction that you have with people that work in your office.

These tips should help make it slightly easier though.

Don’t neglect chances for small talk

While the most important thing is getting the work done, there is no reason why you shouldn’t engage in some friendly chat with your remote employees.

This will help you to build a rapport with them and understand what they are like, so could assist you a lot with the way that you manage them.

It will also make them feel more comfortable, which could lead them to be more productive or raise issues as they arise.

Use video to communicate as much as possible

When it comes to gauging someone’s mood and feelings towards something, visual communication is key, so using a video calling service like Skype will help with this.

You should be using this the majority of the time, especially if you are talking over changes in project plans.

It helps you to build a better relationship with remote workers and helps your team to be more efficient.

Set aside time for one on ones

This is really important as it helps you to build much stronger relationships.

Developing a bond with people that work in the same office is much easier as you see them every day and speak consistently, so the need for one on one meetings isn’t as applicable.

When you are dealing with remote workers, there is less chance for casual conversations and the usual ongoing office discussions so one on ones become more necessary.

Set out a schedule for regular catch-ups and have a clear plan mapped out of what will be discussed.

Have at least one face to face meeting a year

Remote workers can make huge contributions to a business – they’re a cost-effective recruitment option and often tend to be more productive.

Despite the benefits of being able to work remotely, having some face to face interaction is vital.

Make a pact to meet up once a year to discuss progress and plans for the future.

The Pros And Cons Of Shared Office Spaces

Co-working spaces are springing up all over the country with offers of hot desking (where you have a desk to work from but not an office of your own) and communal work spaces.

While shared office spaces are a tempting alternative to working from home or setting up shop in the local coffee house, there are both pros and cons to running your business from a co-working space.

If you’re looking for a new place to call home for your firm, it’s important weigh up the advantages and disadvantages before you make a decision.

Pro 1: Money saving

Most shared office spaces will charge a fixed fee for your space.

This will include not only the rental fee but sundries such as electricity and internet.

For the start-up, this makes budgeting much easier and it’s also a much cheaper option than renting a dedicated office, paying all the bills and potentially having maintenance costs to juggle.

Pro 2: Flexibility

If you rent a dedicated office, you’ll have to sign a lease which means that you have little to no flexibility if your space isn’t working out.

You’ll usually be committed for at least 12 months.

Co-working spaces however are designed to be much more flexible which means you won’t be required to make a long-term commitment.

Pro 3: It’s a community

Running a start-up can be a lonely business and many an entrepreneur has lamented the hours they spend alone while trying to get their idea off the ground.

A co-working space is full of others in the same boat, which can help to build a real sense of community.

It also means you aren’t isolated even if you are the only employee of your business and you’ll often be surrounded by other creative, innovative minds to feed off.

Con 1: It’s easy to be unproductive

While co-working spaces are perfect for those who thrive on a buzz, with so many other people, ideas and businesses running at full steam in the same space, a shared office can be a distracting environment.

This can lead to you being unproductive which could ultimately cost you money.

Con 2: It’s hard to put your own stamp on the space

Because you’re sharing the office with other firms, it can be hard to stamp your own identity on your space.

That might mean you can’t decorate or move the furniture around or customise your part of the shared office to better reflect your business.

If you’re there with a team, shared spaces can mean it’s hard to define your own company culture and ethos, which can lead to problems internally.

Con 3: You might be restricted to certain hours

Some shared office spaces will only operate on a 9-5 schedule.

If you’re working much longer hours or need more flexibility, this lack of freedom might be a thorn in your side as you grow your business.

How To Build Resilience In Your Sales Team

Forging a resilient sales team will help you to build an effective sales force capable of driving your company forward to greatness.

But how do you teach your team resilience?

Here are a few simple ways of forging sales success.

What is resilience?

Resilience is the crucial difference between a sales team which gives up after getting knocked down and one which learns from its mistakes and moves past them to bigger and better successes.

Resilience is about more than simply distancing yourself from rejection, it is about understanding what happened and why – enabling a salesperson to rebound from their failures with a new and improved mindset which fuels success.

Anticipate failure

Failure is an inevitable stop-off on the path to success.

When seen through this frame, you can teach your sales team that instead of expecting instant success they should learn to see their failures as a gateway to subsequent opportunities.

Encourage self-motivation

Of course you will want to motivate your team – but an essential cornerstone to sales success is the ability to self-motivate.

Encourage behaviours which are conducive with self-development, independent of their role within the company.

Whilst exterior motivation is a key component of generating sales, it could also make your team overly dependent upon it if they are not provided with the knowledge of other avenues of self-support.

Provide resources

A burn-out is the worst thing which can happen to your sales team, as it will not only lead to fewer sales in the short-term, but it will also affect the team’s ability to be resilient in times of trouble.

It’s vital to encourage positive conversations regarding performance and development in order to help develop more effective ways of getting the job done.

Restore a sense of control

A key factor of building resilience is encouraging your staff to understand that the power to succeed or fail is in their hands.

This habit can be encouraged by coaxing more timid team members to participate in discussions, while keeping your workforce informed about sales targets or changes in the business will help to reduce short-term stress and encourage your staff to stretch themselves and continually generate new ways of making that all important sale.

Build a strong community

Surround your sales team with those who push them forward – a supportive community will help fuel future success and encourage a dominant culture of resilience.

5 At-Home Activities You Can Do To Improve Your Managerial Skills

Managing a team can be tough.

Fortunately, it’s a skill that can be learnt and anyone, whether a natural manager or not, can take steps to improve their ability and get more out of their colleagues.

While leadership skills can be built up in the workplace, there are ways to further improve at home.

1) Hit the books

If you want to learn from the experts there’s one simple way to do it – pick up leading managerial books.

Whether you read a chapter as you eat breakfast in the morning or on a lazy Sunday, you can pick up some excellent tips and techniques.

Among ones to consider trying first are Marcus Buckingham’s First, Break All the Rules, One-Minute Manager by Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard, and John Kotter’s excellent Leading Change.

2) Get out and meet new people

Your team at work will be made up of different personalities and learning how to effectively communicate with each can boost your managerial skills.

Outside of work creating opportunities to meet new people from different backgrounds can give you a chance to improve communication techniques and the art of building relationships with a huge range of individuals.

Communication is key to driving your colleagues towards your mission.

3) Develop a presence

Part of communication is the words that we speak, but our presence plays a big role too.

This can include body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions.

Being more aware of your presence outside of work and taking up an activity, such as a sport, can help you develop this.

You can then translate this to your managing position, helping to better portray your vision, instructions, and meaning when speaking to staff.

4) Get organised

If your home life is generally a bit unorganised it can reflect in your work too.

Managers are required to juggle many different aspects and keep on top of long-term projects and daily tasks.

Making organisation part of your everyday routine at home will mean that you’ll be doing it at work without even thinking about it in no time.

5) Be creative

As a leader, you’ll typically be faced with problems throughout your position.

Getting into a creative frame of mind outside of work can boost your critical thinking, problem solving skills, and inspire some innovation.

Being creative can not only act as a positive outlet but improve your operations at work too.

How to build trust at the workplace - Trevor McClintock

Building Trust In The Workplace

Do you trust your employees?

Do they trust you?

Do your employees trust each other?

Trust is an essential element of a great workplace.

With trust, there’s cohesion and effective team work, and company goals can be achieved and even surpassed.

Employees need to trust each other to build harmony and a sense of security among themselves.

Trust is also vital for healthy management-employees relationships.

The employees need to trust the management to have their (employees) best interest at heart.

Both parties need to believe in each other’s ability to effectively carry out their duties without fail.

Without trust, people become self-cantered, suspicious of each other, respect is lost, and productivity is hampered.

How can managers and employees build trust at the workplace?

Here’s how:

1) Be honest

Honesty not only earns you trust at the workplace but also respect.

Employees who are honest with each other trust each other.

Also, people respect leaders who don’t lie to them, even when it’s time to discuss difficult matters.

Employees will see through the seemingly harmless lies you tell and lose their trust in you.

Dishonesty weakens the team and ultimately affects productivity.

2) Lead from the front

Managers must always remember that the team feeds off their energy.

Don’t tell your team where to go, lead the way and they’ll follow.

This not only earns you their loyalty but also their trust.

Avoid blaming them when something goes wrong and recognise each member’s effort when the team succeeds.

Difficult as it may be to do, building trust calls on you to be one with the team, to rise and fall with them.

3) Effective communication

Whether among employees or between employees and managers or supervisors, effective communication is vital to cultivating trust at the workplace.

Share important information with the team on time, which proves that you have no hidden agendas.

Adopt a culture of holding regular face to face meetings where the team can discuss the progress of their teamwork or individual projects.

Open communication also gives individuals the opportunity to appreciate divergent views and respect each other’s opinion without feeling disrespected or intimidated.

4) Be consistent

Do what you say you’ll do and people will learn to trust your word.

For example, as a manager, you must work hard to maintain company standards so employees can trust your leadership skills.

When employees find you trustworthy, they’ll even go the extra mile to support you in achieving company goals.

5) Fairness

Respect all employees and recognise each team member’s contribution, regardless of their position.

The company driver needs to feel as important as the chief accountant.

Unfairness makes you as the manager/leader untrustworthy and this negatively affects the motivation of the team and individuals which leads to low productivity.

6) Admit your mistakes

Managers often find it difficult to admit their mistakes because they think it makes them look weak.

Ironically, it only makes you look strong, strong enough to swallow your pride and accept your faults in the presence of your subordinates.

Taking responsibility for your mistakes makes you appear more human and approachable to your employees and thus trustworthy.

If you want even more information, read this post.

Boss With Employees

How To Build Strong & Lasting Relationships With Your Employees

The key to building strong and lasting relationships with your employees is all about making them feel important and valued.

A company is no greater than the sum of its parts and to cultivate a good company ethos is to add inestimable value to the company that money cannot buy.

Staff retention is a pressing problem that all companies face, in the modern world where high staff turnover is a problem, with some industries suffering from this more acutely than others.

Different companies take their own approaches to improving staff trust and creating that mutually beneficial partnership between employer and employee.

Different approaches will work for different people and it’s important to recognise that all your employees require different management approaches to establish that value and trust.

Rewards/perks scheme

Make your staff feel like they are being rewarded for their hard work and introduce a benefit scheme to help monetise effort.

When receiving little surprises when they produce good quality work, employees will feel spurred on to achieve bigger and better things.

Recognition of the smaller things produces a feeling of community in a company.

Frequent pay reviews

This is an important one that can sometimes be overlooked.

It’s important to recognise when someone is deserving of a pay rise.

This helps provide targets for your staff and builds the bridge of trust that helps raise levels of motivation amongst your staff.

When staff feel they have a clear pathway to follow they will be motivated to improve themselves and provide a good service to the company to achieve greater financial rewards.

Flexi-hours

Companies which provide the capacity for flexible working have higher levels of staff satisfaction than those which don’t.

Flexible working helps your staff to plan their days with greater autonomy which demonstrates trust.

Allowing staff the freedom to work from home and monitoring success through output rather than hours worked builds good relationships.

Compensation for overtime

Some companies are not good at compensating people when they go above and beyond.

To do so creates a two-way street of respect between employer and employee.

Employees can become resentful of an expectation to do overtime without sufficient compensation.

Making sure employees are feeling appreciated and valued when they offer to undertake extra work reaps benefits for the company as people are more likely to offer and provide dedicated support.

Being approachable

Approachable bosses make a difference to company culture.

Employees feel more at ease to make requests and provide feedback which creates a strong working relationship between both parties.

Those in charge should make sure they have an open door policy for employees concerns to allow people to make themselves heard and provide feedback without feeling they will be penalised.

Being family-oriented

Good employers recognise the importance of a good work-life balance and enable working mothers and fathers to balance the needs of their family life with their working life.

Being amenable to personal circumstances creates a good two-way relationship between employer and employee.

Everyone has family commitments that they need to attend to and it’s important to many people to have a job which fits in well with their family life to minimise stressful situations.

Follow this advice and you will be well on your way to establishing a strong working relationship between your management team and your employees.

Make sure these points are communicated effectively throughout your management team to establish a clear vision of best practice and how requests from employees should be dealt with.

Remember that a happy team is a productive team and all the focus on building relationships with your employees will inevitably contribute to the future success of your team. It is worth investing in your human capital!

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