“Staff interaction, communication and teamwork are vital factors in company development,” he comments.
In today’s competitive business market, purpose, vision, social responsibility, learning, and fair recruitment are the factors to get right. Managers must be able to demonstrate leadership qualities, with constructive criticism. Motivation and reward are important factors.
“I believe in encouraging employees to take responsibility,” added Mr Ossman. “They must have access to information for decision making, together with an effective, flexible approach from management. He offers the following tips:
Plans are the seeds of flowering goals; when you review your business plan, it’s a good idea to ensure things like core values and ongoing strategy is effectively communicated to staff which will help build respect, boosting team and individual achievement.
There’s a great, surprisingly little used tool, which I call ‘The Happiness Factor’. It makes senses that a happier team is likely to be more productive. Tense moments are a part of day to day business pressure and they are not always that easy to handle. During these times, it’s sometimes a case of striving to keep the atmosphere controlled and balanced when you might feel like simply ‘letting go’ but when you manage to keep the lid on all those emotions, without too much noise, staff feel challenged, not intimidated.
Signposts to a pay rise are a way to help your workforce see reward up ahead, rather than fruitless toil: align staff bonuses and increments with clearly communicated performance targets. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love the thought of a pay rise?
Many company owners forget that staff may be bursting to say something and too afraid to come forth for fear of appearing too ‘forward’. If someone has something useful to say, let their mouths do the talking. Useful feedback will give good indication of the overall sentiments in the business and help you build a calm and contented atmosphere with a ‘two way’ feeling.
The Art of Listening of course has to be married with this and an annual ‘team retreat’ helps to achieve pre-set goals with the chance to discuss matters outside the office environment. By establishing a good balance between business focus, team building and fun, you can get some amazing results.
You then find yourself working without the benefit of hindsight. So, putting the time aside for an annual or bi-annual appraisal helps you to identify staff issues and resolve them early before any serious difficulties may arise. In addition, weekly and monthly staff meetings with clear objectives and agreed outcomes provide focus and don’t forget: everyone loves a prize!
A monthly team feedback with a scoring mechanism and awards means management can better identify issues and put them right. Employees will feel relaxed, motivated and more confident. Then just watch while they come back with ideas, ideas, ideas and you’re on a winner.
An ideas book is a great attraction to staff; most will like their contribution being considered and compared to your marketing expenses, many innovative staff ideas increase income.
Train to gain is a good philosophy to adopt, too. Create a staff Training Plan. When people are trained to deliver a quality service within a supportive and knowledgeable team, it instills confidence. Make learning and development consistent, ensuring skilled staff can work in a flexible way, helping the business to manage the demands of a changing market place.
Is commitment really the word to be feared? By fully engaging with your staff, involving them in planning and decision making, staff from the lower levels to the more senior positions, will feel a moral responsibility for the success of your company. That has to be a great team boost and there you have it: a high level of commitment and no big fear factor.
Remember that first day at school? Well most of us do: and a bit of security goes a long way. Help new staff feel secure. Establish clear roles and responsibilities with a well planned induction programme and accurate Job Description at the point of recruitment.
Ultimately you want to achieve skill with responsibility so encourage staff to feel responsible for problems and solutions, rather than accountable and threatened and you have the answer. Your only cost? The free asset available to us all: Time.
For more information visit: www.ossmanassociates.com