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THERE’S widespread recognition within the business world of the importance of human resources.
Somewhere in their mission statements and values, most companies claim that their employees are important, yet many fail to fully utilise the intelligence and creative talents of their people.
Regardless of what segment of the beef industry you work in, the backbone of making your business work as an entire succinct unit is to keep your employees engaged and enthusiastic about their jobs.
It is important to make sure they feel motivated each and every day to give their best and do a fantastic job with every task they undertake.
Most employees are keen to work hard and do well in their role, but in order for them to do this well, they need to have a sense of purpose and to feel that they are valued.
While it may seem that offering a target-based reward with an incentive on completion (for example, a pay-rise or holiday) may be a good way to achieve this, and indeed on the short-term may be affective, in the long-term this may backfire as the employee has no intrinsic motivation to help the company to succeed.
Here are some tips to help stay in your employees’ good-books and get the best work performance possible out of them. Doing so will increase employee engagement and loyalty and help you get the best from your most important resources.
Provide incentives for great work
While it may be difficult to justify going above and beyond their regular pay-checks to reward good work and service to the company, making employees feel necessary and needed can help stimulate their overarching desire to push themselves and provide more for their company.
Furthermore, providing small incentives for reaching work quotas, avoiding breakages or any industry-specific guidelines could be a great way to make your employees more aware of what they’re doing while also providing a goal to actively work towards.
Keep the work interesting
Nobody wants to feel like a mouse in an enclosure, simply doing the same thing over and over every day. One way to keep employees engaged and working at their peak is to mix things up. Of course, this only applies to jobs where this sort of interchangeability is possible, but moving people around every three to six months could help to keep things fresh and interesting.
Engage with your employees
Actively making an effort to get to know your employees will go a long way to boosting morale and raising the overall productivity of your workforce. Making them feel like a part of something bigger, that cares for them and their needs can foster a productive, healthy relationship between employer and employee, which works to the benefit of both parties.
Provide training and development
The best companies invest time and money in training their employees, knowing that the investment will be returned many times over in not only a more capable but also more loyal workforce. Training does not have to be only technical, but can include business and social skills as well.
There are a number of training options available that won’t break the bank. For starters, take advantage of internal knowledge and pair employees in mentoring programs. Also investigate educational offerings through government and industry associations. They often provide seminars and courses at reduced member rates, and the topics are customised to your industry.
Share responsibility widely
There are many functions traditionally done by managers that staff/team members can take-on or at least be involved in, such as setting goals, planning and scheduling, and communicating with other departments. It does not necessarily mean you will give up control of these areas – but your role will be more involved around setting boundaries, providing training, and monitoring how things are going. The more variety and responsibility people have in their jobs, the happier they are likely to be.
Be a good listener
This is one of the most important skills leaders can develop. Employees have opinions and feelings which need to be expressed and heard in a safe relationship. If they can’t express their negative opinions and feelings then you can bet they’ll act them out in subtle, destructive ways. Listening takes time, but it also builds trust and ensures that you’re dealing with real issues and getting to the root of problems.
You can get more out of your staff by avoiding time-wasters. Make sure meetings are essential and consider whose participation is critical before sending invites. Schedule formal discussions during slower times, such as later in the day or work week.
Share information generously
Employees can’t be fully-engaged in their work if they’re in the dark or lack vital information. These have to do with the strategy and direction of the company, competitive landscape, feedback from customers, their personal or department performance, what is happening in other parts of the company, and so on. The more people know, the more valued and respected they feel and the better they’re going to perform.
Address performance problems directly
Nothing demoralises a staffmember more than a co-worker who doesn’t care or do his/her share of the work. Such people drag down everyone around them. It’s critical that managers learn to confront these problems directly and hold people accountable. Too often we ignore and let these problems fester and become toxic to the entire work cohort. Develop a mind-set and skills that are “firm, but fair” in treatment of other employees.
Let them be problem solvers
Empower employees by encouraging them to solve problems when and where they occur. Problems should be resolved by everyone within the business, regardless of its size. Solving problems when and where they occur engages people and creates a culture in which people know they make a difference.
Most company resources depreciate in value over time. Technology and software aren’t worth as much in a year as when first purchased.
But employees are different: they have the potential to add greater value to the company the longer they’re employed. And one of the most important roles of company management is to create a climate in which your employees thrive.
Implementing just one or two of these tips will help create more engaged and loyal employees.