Managing staff is one of the more difficult professional challenges you can face. Regardless of whether it’s a small contingent of workers or management of a huge corporate wing, there are some tactics you can employ that will help you get the most out of your staff by ensuring their well-being and job satisfaction are paramount to your managing strategy.
Of course, this list of suggestions is only the tip of the iceberg and by no means a guarantee to success as truly strong management takes genuine experience and training (far beyond what can be offered in this short post) however the points we outline below will serve as a strong foundation for creating a work culture that fosters retention of the best.
Offer financial rewards ahead of the curve.
An obvious point, sure, but you can’t argue with success. It’s one of the cornerstones of capitalism, after all, the financial reward for working hard and meeting difficult deadlines. Cash is the modern language of recognising success and it’s one of the strongest motivators in your toolbox. However it wouldn’t be particularly clever management to throw cash bonuses to every one of your employees every time they do a good job otherwise your business would soon be going under – but there are still ways to use the money carrot.
For example, use a financial reward to (within sensible reason) foster a competitive atmosphere amongst the staff by setting an ambitious target and a generous bonus to the first staff member who reaches the target. This way you get improved performance across the board by only offering a single reward. If you’re worried about creating an overly competitive and potentially toxic atmosphere then exercise this with caution; it is best suited to sales and commission-based positions. Regarding retention, the best practice is to be proactive with matching the standard industry rates for new hires on a yearly basis and ideally to offer stock incentives with your business.
Provide opportunities for staff rest and refreshment.
If you’re expecting significant commitment and contentment from your staff on a consistent basis you must understand the effort required to legitimately accomplish this level of concentration and intensity without risking burnout – it’s hard work to be wholly engaged with something for an extended period of time.
This is why proper refreshments and well-being breaks are absolutely crucial to the success of your team. For example, they will need time away from the workspace to rest their brains and eyes. Provide comfortable and relaxing settings for people to relax and you will reap the rewards, focus on providing people with fresh water and juices, good natural ventilation and consider fresh office fruit deliveries to your office on a daily basis to ensure people always have a healthy option for nutrition to snack on which will help prevent dehydration and sugar spikes which will inhibit performance. The various benefits of fresh fruit for your office are well documented here.
Put your faith and trust in your staff.
This tip doesn’t cost you a penny but may prove to have the biggest impact on all the advice offered here. Everyone craves approval and validation. It’s only natural for us to seek the approval of others, we feel good when we know that other people value us and can depend upon us. You can deliver this sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction to your staff members by taking a chance on providing them with more responsibility and less supervision. Of course, this doesn’t mean you stop being a manager, but rather, you identify when someone is flourishing and you reward them by letting them know how valuable an asset they are – you know you can leave them in peace because you trust that they are hard-working and competent, leaving you with time to deal with other people less adept. Simply taking the time to show someone you have faith in them can kick start motivation and they will not want to disappoint someone who has clearly invested their trust in them.
Address the ‘work-from-home incentive sensibly.
In the post-Covid workplace, most people have become accustomed to working from home where possible. While this comes with a caveat of additional challenges (ensuring productivity and team communication etc.) the proven reality is that remote working in many industries is entirely possible and has a positive effect on both retention levels and the well-being of staff. This ties into the previous tip regarding trust. Have faith that your team will not take advantage of the situation and instead do their best to reward the trust you place in them.
Dodging commutes and working from the comfort of a home office are lucrative benefits you should be trying your best to hold on to. Making the blanket decision to bring staff back into full-time office work shows a lack of understanding and empathy for your team. Strive to offer ‘split’ time between home and office and try to maximise the value of the team being together in the office by having valuable meetings and team-based exercises when you’re all physically present.