Your company culture is one of the most important aspects of your business. It’s what sets you apart from the competition, but it’s also an invaluable asset that can be difficult to define and implement says Peter Decaprio. Many businesses try without success to build a strong workplace environment and eventually give up on their idea of a great company culture after it doesn’t happen overnight. Creating a meaningful and memorable experience for employees isn’t easy – it takes time, energy and commitment – but the investment you make in building your company culture will pay off in so many ways. With just a few changes to your approach, you can significantly improve morale within your team and velocity of projects by creating a company environment where employees are motivated.
In this article, we provide six keys to communicating with your team that will help you motivate and engage them through good communication.
1. Focus on the Person you’re communicating with – Your Team Members Are Individuals Not Numbers
It’s easy to forget that the people who work for you are individuals first and employees second, but it’s an important distinction. Even if you manage a team of 10 or 200, each person on your team has his or her own life outside of the office and understanding those things gives you great insight into what makes your employees tick. Paying attention to details such as their family life, hobbies, and academic pursuit’s personal desires helps you relate to them on a more personal level and gives you insight into their productivity levels says Peter Decaprio. Knowing that your accountant has a sick parent or that one of your engineers just returned from a trek in the Himalayas can help you to balance their workload and motivate them when necessary.
2. Communicate With Your Employees More Than Once a Day
The more communication, the better isn’t always true; especially if it means inundating employees with communication on a daily basis. If everyone on your team receives up to 10 emails every day, they’ll soon start to ignore email completely. The average knowledge worker spends 28% of his or her time dealing with communication such as email (according to McKinsey Global Institute) and try as we might we can’t change that fact. Sending information by email is easy, but it does lead to a lot of clutter and noise that your team will ignore. If you want to communicate with your employees effectively try out a few options such as Google+ hangouts, Skype chats or Yammer messages if they’re available in your company. These tools allow you to reach a number of individuals quickly and efficiently without the negative aspects associated with email.
3. Create a Culture of Feedback – You Need To Know What Your Team Thinks and Feels about Certain Situations
Taking the time to sit down with your employees on an individual basis can provide invaluable insight into their feelings about how work is progressing on projects, what their opinion of coworkers are and even whether they think they’re underpaid or overworked. The more information you have about how your team is feeling the better decisions you’ll be able to make for their benefit. Not all feedback will be positive, but hearing constructive criticism can help motivate employees without hurting their feelings.
4. Encourage Employees to Take On Personal Development Goals – Their Career Is Important To You Too
Helping employees advance in their careers not only helps them personally but also has a direct impact on the company’s success because you’ll have even more talent at your disposal to work with. Peter Decaprio says executives across all levels of an organization should set aside time each week for personal development activities such as training courses, mentoring other employees or simply staying up-to-date on industry developments so they can bring fresh ideas to the team. Encouraging your employees to improve their skills and knowledge base helps them feel valued. But also gives you a company full of dynamic employees who can adapt quickly to changing environments.
5. Give Employees Recognition for A Job Well Done – It Doesn’t Need To Be OTT
People love receiving positive reinforcement for a job well done and if they’re not given recognition for it. Then they’ll expect pay rises instead which could be expensive in the long run. The old adage ‘recognize an achievement as soon as it happens’ is true. Because it reinforces the idea that you notice and care about what your team does on a daily basis. There’s no need to go overboard when rewarding people for meeting deadlines or completing projects. But telling them they’ve done a good job in person or by email is all that’s needed.
6. The Morning Stand-Up Meeting Is a Waste of Time – Make Your Meetings More Productive
The traditional daily stand-up meeting where employees answer three questions quickly may have worked well. When the pace of work was slower, but these days people are drowning in information. And often don’t have enough time to spend every day talking about the same things explains Peter Decaprio. Keeping meetings short, focused on pertinent topics and making sure everyone can speak during each session. Are simple ways to make your team meetings more productive without affecting morale. Try running 30 minute sessions instead of 15 minutes so you can get deep. Rather than surface level answers from employees at every level.
Many businesses start out very small and as they grow larger. Their founders or team leaders often lose sight of problems or situations that would make the company better. Sometimes it’s up to the employees themselves to highlight ways in which a business can improve. And these suggestions should be given serious consideration before acting on them. Making changes based on the opinions and ideas of your staff is how you create a happy. Motivated workforce that won’t desert you during tough economic times.