Despite how well employees may be performing, sometimes you just need a little bit more out of them. Although you won’t be able to squeeze every last bit of productivity out of them, you can give them a nudge in the right direction. After all, it’s less expensive to keep an employee who has been trained and onboarded than it is to source, recruit, hire and train a new employee to fill gaps when the organizational goals shift and change with new business, economic changes or seasonal spikes. If you find yourself needing to get the team on board with an extra project or your company is in desperate need from just a little bit more from your current team, we have the talent management solutions to get you there.
We’re not advocating building relationships the second you need a lot of help but having them when you ask can change how much help you get! Strengthening the relationship between manager and employee can prompt higher performance levels out of the team. Employees who are more connected to the organization, their role and their manager are more likely to go the extra mile occasionally when needed. When managers are able to improve employee satisfaction, their team’s productivity rises 12%. But they can really only do that if they’re willing to build professional relationships with their employees.
Do you know what makes your team tick? What motivates them? What demotivates them? As a manager, you need to understand how your team works and how they work best in order to find out how to get...well more of the good stuff. The only way you can do that is to study the team. Dave Mattson, CEO and President of Sandler Training, said:
“Understanding employee motivation lets you structure a support system that tailors to each employee’s unique interests, inspiring them to work hard and achieve company goals… Once you have taken the time to understand what motivates your employees, set up incentives accordingly.”
Little rewards here and there are common methods in keeping employees engaged at work. Whether your team is motivated through words of encouragement or a little extra padding in their wallet, incentives can prove effective in increasing productivity in the short-term (This is when it’s beneficial to study the team so you understand what best motivates them). In fact, organizations with higher than average levels of employee engagement realized 27% higher profits, 50% higher sales, 50% higher customer loyalty levels, and 38% above-average productivity.
Feedback is Critical
This isn’t your feedback on their work, it’s their feedback on your work as a manager. This is your opportunity to make sure they have everything they need in order to be extra productive like you need them to be. Your hypothetical managerial report card is important - 40% of employees would give their manager a “B”, another 24% give their supervisors a “C”. In order to improve their performance (even if they’re already performing well), you need to make sure your performance is on par, too.
Make goals and feedback part of the process. In order to get more out of your employees, you need to show them what success looks like. It’s also necessary to show them how the successful implementation of those goals aligns with organizational imperatives.
Don’t Push it
It’s easy to nudge employees just hard enough to the point of disengagement… placing a heavier hand on productivity can do just this. But keep in mind there is a limit. Be careful not to push your team too far for too long; they’re susceptible to stress-related burnout. Robert Lentz, part of the editorial staff at Business Management Daily, said:
“I kept giving everyone more and more work, and they kept saying, ‘We’re slammed!’ But it all kept getting done… I realized that people were constantly reshaping the way they worked in order to absorb the load. Changing their techniques, streamlining, pinpointing focus. When their backs were to the wall, they spotted inefficiencies and corrected them… The only problem, which I totally missed while thinking they were just awesome employees, was that I was making them miserable.”
Regardless of how well your team is performing, there are occasions when you need a little bit more productivity from each employee. With some communication and incentives, you can give employees the incentives they need in order to stay motivated. Be careful, though, don’t push them beyond their limits for long periods of time or you risk burnout. You can squeeze more productivity out of existing employees, all you need are these few guidelines.
Improve productivity. Measure performance. Be Clear. Sign up for a demo to see what ClearCompany’s talent management solution can do for you and your team.
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As the head of a department in the midst of a sustained period of rapid growth, Sara has spent thousands of hours interviewing, hiring, onboarding and assessing employees and candidates. She is passionate about sharing the best practices she has learned from both successes and failures in talent acquisition and management.