Quality employee performance is crucial for any small business. Therefore, you must keep your employees motivated and happy.
While employees are motivated by pay rises, this is not the only (or even most important) reason for the overall employee morale and well-being. Other features of your business culture and management style play a big role in retaining your employees in the long run and preventing your business from going bankrupt by raising unnecessary salaries.
Create a successful recruitment system
First, you need to create a great recruitment system. I started a company called CRAVEBOX in 2014, which I still own and manage. I have hired and managed hundreds of employees over the last few years.
It is very important that you actually create an interesting job post on a job listing site. Your job should have a competitive starting salary, a clear description of the role and job and a picture or a website link so that the candidate can know more about your company and location.
It is important to attract a lot of high-quality candidates when you manage the staff because you will be able to find great employees over time and leave employees who are not suitable. If you don’t have a way for a lot of potential employees, you can try to make your current employees extra happy, offer a lot of unnecessary salary increases or put irresistible expectations on the existing employees.
With lots of great options accessible through your hiring system, you can manage your current employees with a more level head and give them a place to stay or leave as they wish.
Make the task clear and easy
When you train and manage employees, you must clearly present their role and tasks. Employees want to know exactly what is expected of them and when they do, they are happier and perform better.
I manage office staff and warehouse staff. Warehouse workers have a very common job that takes about 30 minutes to learn. They know exactly what to do and what to expect from them in terms of quality, speed and presence of their work. They are measured in those 3 metrics so that they know very clearly whether they are doing well or need to improve.
Office workers have more complex tasks that take longer to learn but job roles and expectations are still very simple and clear. We share a google sheet document in google drive that lists exactly what they should do each week. So, they know what my expectations are and if they get all their work done, they know they’ve done a great job.
Employees do not want to enter an unorganized environment where they are not sure what they are doing or how they should do it. They want some structure and continuity. It’s not fun to work for a company that changes your job or role frequently. So there is a clearly defined task that is consistent with the well-defined task and role.
Provide adequate training and equipment
Employees want to be able to perform their job well. They want to feel effective and confident. To make this possible, you must provide adequate training and equipment.
You should have a structured training system so that when you hire employees, you go through the steps to show them how to perform their various roles. There should also be an aspect of written manuals or videos so that after you finish training, employees have something to mention if they forget the process steps.
It may be best to let them take their own notes to show you how to perform their tasks. It is important to explain this clearly and slowly, and allow the employee to perform each function on their own while you watch.
People learn more effectively by simply doing things that are contrary to what they see or hear. After you see them perform well, you should gradually start allowing them to work alone but you still need to monitor their work frequently to check their mistakes and re-train them in case of problems. Over time, you can continue to stay away and review their performance regularly, as you would with any other experienced employee.
You need to provide them with all the tools they need to complete their tasks. It can range from a printer or scanner to software, login and password, or even a company debit card. If you don’t provide proper training and equipment, employees will not be able to perform well, they will not feel good about what they are doing, they will get frustrated and you will probably have tension with them. .
Performance incentive offer
It will attract and retain self-motivated people and a bonus or incentive program will do just that.
For example, with my warehouse employees, we give cash bonuses to 5 employees per week at the fastest speed for the week. This is great because it allows self-motivated people to work hard, think of ways they can improve, and compete to work faster and more efficiently. It not only improves their short term performance but it also improves their long term morale because they are getting bonuses and they know the management system and appreciate their speed and hard work.
For my office workers, I offer an annual bonus and the size of that bonus depends on their performance throughout the year. It is not so easy for office workers to measure a specific metric like speed, so judging their performance over the years depends on my discretion. If you do not offer performance incentives, great employees may feel that they are not being appreciated or that they are not being paid fairly for their great work.
Give great feedback
Providing frequent and quality feedback is critical to improving employee performance and maintaining their motivation. You should meet with your staff at least quarterly to provide structured, written feedback on all aspects of their work. This is a great opportunity for you to acknowledge what they have done well and respectfully point out where they can improve. It allows you to ask them questions about how they spend their time, what they like and dislike about the job, and so on. This is an opportunity for them to ask you questions.
Without frequent feedback, an employee may not know how they are doing and they will not appreciate the hard work they put into the company.
Allow for freedom and autonomy
Independence and autonomy are more important for the happiness of the employees than the salary rate. You must be able to define the task clearly, train the employee well and then let them perform it in their own way.
I do not micromanage my warehouse or office staff. Warehouse employees know what is expected in terms of quality, speed and attendance and if they reach that metric they can do whatever they want. If they want to take a few minutes to text or make a phone call or take a walk outside, it doesn’t matter unless their performance metrics are getting hit.
For my office staff, their weekly tasks are clearly defined in a google sheet file that we share and can do whatever they want. If they want to take a break and surf the web or have something to eat, okay with me, I don’t see them. So there needs to be a structure of job role, training, feedback etc. but you must give them space and freedom to perform their work as per their choice. This autonomy will retain many great employees because it is rare.