If you’ve been paying attention to the principles of sound management theory, then you already understand the value of emotional intelligence. It’s not just psychobabble, but a real aspect of intelligence that needs to be respected in the workplace.
Although it may sound like an oxymoron, there is such a thing as happy employees.
Happy employees are engaged employees. In turn, engaged employees do all the things necessary to help a company prosper.
- They are easy to manage because they are conscientious, hard-working, talented, and productive,
- They show up on time,
- They help each other out,
- They work all the time they work,
- And they provide such excellent customer service that customers wouldn’t think of going anywhere else.
If, on top of this, you’ve got your logistics worked out, using a platform like Asure Software to give you insights into the productivity of your employees, then you’ve pretty much figured out how to win the game of business.
3 Simple Tips
If you’re still working toward this ideal scenario, here are 3 tips to help you out:
1. Use the power of conversation
Conversation is such a natural part of our lives that we fail to see it as a super-power. However, if used artfully in an organization, it can make the difference between low productivity and a highly-motivated team.
Here are three ways to turn manager-employee workplace conversations into a superpower:
- Make employees feel valuable by treating them with a respectful attitude. If you make them feel replaceable, they won’t do the things that make outstanding employees. Playing on their insecurities is a bad strategy.
- Don’t just assign work, but explain why it matters. Average managers give orders, but superior managers elicit high-performance by giving employees a glimpse of the big picture.
- Use words of affirmation to reward work well done. Employees don’t just work for a paycheck; they also work for appreciation. If someone is detail-oriented, mention it. If someone gets the job done quickly and well, be sure to comment on it. Naturally, we’re not talking about flattery, which falls flat because it sounds disingenuous, but words of affirmations based on observed performance.
2. Nurture talent
Sometimes employees come into a workplace with full-blown talent, having acquired their knowledge and skill sets from previous employers, but this is rare. More often, talent has to be nourished from promising signs new employees show.
A company with a lot of talent can do amazing things, but this talent has to be nourished.
Here are 3 ways to nourish talent:
- Verbally reinforce what an employee does correctly and avoid criticizing everything they could have done better. As a result, they will start doing more of the things that work and phase out the things that don’t work.
- Job shadowing is a powerful way to groom employees to take on more responsibilities. Rather than simply assigning them more responsibilities and giving them time to figure it out, it’s much more effective to designate time for job shadowing an employee who is already doing the extra work. By watching how a senior staff member does the work is done, the shadowing employee gets a good idea of how the work should be done.
- Formal training is often necessary in a business where employees have to master a large body of information quickly to improve their job performance. For instance, if your company has adopted new business software, then formal training is the quickest way to get everyone up to speed on how to use it properly.
3. Treat them well
There are many ways to improve team morale. You can, of course, bring donuts to office meetings and combine big business meetings with a catered lunch, but there is much more you do as well.
Here are 3 suggestions:
- Create contests to spur motivation. For instance, employee of the month, top salesperson of the month, etc.
- Make all your managers good conversationalists rather than simply people who issue orders and appraise performance. Congenial managers will be a refreshing change from most companies, where managers are expected to be subtly intimidating to keep people in line.
- Offer employees a chance to grow. Employees are eager to seize opportunities for personal growth, from getting more certifications to learning more skillsets. In addition, these incentives don’t have to be work related. Google, for example, invites some of the top authors in the world to give talks to their employees on a wide range of topics.
Lead the Field
Far too many jobs only pay lip service to the idea of employee happiness. While they may have a few token employee incentive programs, for the most part, employees feel that their work isn’t appreciated and that their best efforts often go unnoticed.
The reason for this attitude is because management does not appreciate the value of emotional intelligence. They prefer to make employees worry about losing their job, always working harder to stay employed. This strategy usually backfires because employees just become disengaged and do as little as they can get away with. Since good work isn’t rewarded in any way, apathy replaces enthusiasm. This is not a place employees stay long.
By providing a work culture that is different from what most companies do, your company will quickly lead the field.