It’s simple really; organizations that look after their people are looking after themselves in the most positive and effective way.
You can’t buy loyalty, commitment, motivation and a good team spirit, but you can generate it by making your people feel that they are valued and appreciated, both for themselves and their skills.
Organisations that get this right have a head start in the business world. If your staff feel that they are valued as a person firstly, and then for what they can do for you, you will have got it right. If people just feel that they are regarded as tools to be made use of, they will not be enthusiastic and motivated to ‘give of their best’. As one man said to me, when I was giving a training programme to an organization, “I’m only here to hold out my hand for my pay packet every week. Why should I care about them, when they obviously don’t care about me?”
So what can employers do to generate loyalty and a desire to give of their best in their employees? The following are a few simple keys that will start this particular ball rolling.
- Have an easily accessible suggestion box available, and encourage people to use it. Let it be known that their suggestions will be given consideration, and will be responded to. This can be done through the communication system that is operating in your organization. If a suggestion cannot be accepted, give the reason why. If people have gone to the trouble of putting it forward they deserve a response. Let it be known that anonymous suggestions are acceptable.
- Have regular team meetings, ideally weekly, face to face or virtual via skype.
- At these meetings, people should be given a little time to ask questions and voice their concerns.
- At least once a month the General Manager or CEO should address the whole organization, to update them on what is happening, how the firm is doing, and outline future direction. A person who is kept informed is far more likely to commit to the organization. In some instances, this cannot be done face-to-face. If this is the case use the intranet, email, conference calls, or whichever modes of communication will best reach your workforce.
- Form a social club, to be run by the staff, and have regular relaxed get-togethers. This is a great way for people to bond. If they do so, they are far more likely to get on well together, care about and support each other. This is important. People want far more from their job than to be paid well. Doing things like this helps to build ‘a family feel’ in the place. If you can create this culture you are more likely to have people pulling together as a team, and feeling that they have an important part to play in the organization.
- Provide the opportunity for people who have problems to come and talk to somebody who is a good listener, and who is emotionally mature enough to make some helpful suggestions. If necessary offer them professional counselling help.
- Offer regular supervision to people. This is a good way to support them and upgrade their training. It is to the organization’s advantage to do this as it identifies and can deal with problem areas early.
- If a person is performing inefficiently, offer them help. I have frequently found in dealing with industry, that the fault often lies not with the person, but with management, because they did not ensure that the person had sufficient training to do the job well.
- Put the accent on good, free-flowing, open communication, and then watch productivity increase. A happy worker gets better results.
- In a book, How to Lead and Motivate Others, it does say that when faced with people problems and difficult situations, confront, don’t ignore. One of the biggest mistakes the leader or manager can make is to shut their eyes and hope it will all go away. It won’t. Problems involving people do not usually just fade away and disappear, rather they tend to steadily build up. So deal with the problem when it is smaller rather than bigger, that way it can quickly be sorted out.