Hire The Right Person For The Job
Your job as a manager begins when you’re recruiting a new employee, not on their first day of work. It may sound obvious, but finding someone who is the right fit for the job will make managing that person a lot easier down the road.
- Take the time to match the candidate’s skills and experience with the tasks at hand.
- Ask the same questions of all candidates so you have an easy basis of comparison.
- Create a test or a tryout session that will help you gauge their talents in an actual work setting.
Paying a competitive wage will help you attract and retain solid performers. But motivating your workers, a crucial challenge for any manager, is about more than money. It involves creating the kind of culture or work environment for your company that sets it apart from competitors. Consider the case of software developer SAS, which was profiled on this segment on ABC's 60 Minutes.
The North Carolina company offers competitive salaries, but also created a strong culture that keeps turnover and the costs associated with it to a minimum. You can do the same by communicating early and often with your team, empowering them to make decisions and solve problems, outlining your expectations clearly, acknowledging success and learning from setbacks.
Can the elements for creating a strong culture be quantified? The Small Business Administration takes a crack at it with a list of seven ways to keep employees happy and motivated:
- Show appreciation for a job well done
- Involve employees in decision making
- Contribute to the social environment by having your company participate in the surrounding community
- Be concerned with employees’ health and well-being
- Show loyalty to your team
- Create a comfortable and efficient work environment
- Respect the members of your company
Ferdinand Fournies, a former Columbia Business School professor who now runs a business coaching consultancy, tackles the issue of employee motivation in his books Coaching for Improved Work Performance and Why Employees Don’t Do What They’re Supposed To Do and What To Do About It.
Some of the topics Fournies addresses include why managers fail as coaches (they don’t understand how their workers' values differ from their own) and the different types of feedback managers have at their disposal (neutral, positive and negative).
Fournies presents 16 different reasons why employees may not be performing to your expectations including:
- “They Don’t Know What They Are Supposed To Do”
- “They Think Their Way Is Better”
- “They Think Something Else Is More Important”
Why It All Matters
As Jeff Chambers, the director of human resources for SAS notes in his interview with 60 Minutes, you’ll want to keep your employees feeling good about work for more than altruistic reasons. Among the benefits of a satisfied workforce are:
- Reduced turnover costs
- A more experienced and skilled staff
- Time saved on recruiting and training