Productivity Through People Series – 3 Steps to Building Employee Engagement and Increasing Productivity
As a manager, you will find that people can work with you, for you or against you – and the way you manage them determines this. Every manager must ask themselves every day:
- Why would my staff want to work for me?
- Have I set them up to succeed?
If the answer to the first question is something like, ”because I pay them” or “because I tell them to”, you could be missing out on as much as 30% discretionary effort over and above paid for contracted effort.
That’s a very expensive approach!
If the answer to the second question is, “I don’t know” then it’s time to rethink your approach to management and supervision.
Management is not just a job title – it’s a body of knowledge about how to optimise the productivity of your employees to achieve your business objectives.
Here are 3 simple steps you can follow to make sure you have set your staff up for success and, to ensure your staff really want to work for you!
Step 1: Set the job up to succeed
Job design has a major impact on job satisfaction. Satisfaction, engagement and productivity go hand in hand.
The way a job is designed makes an enormous difference to how satisfying a job is for the employee.
Job design should consider the following points in order to maximise satisfaction:
First off it should:
- involve all the employee’s skills;
Next, it needs to provide:
- Meaning to the employee;
- the employee with the right level of control and authority over the job in accordance with their skill and experience; and
- Appropriate levels of feedback that are, in turn, appropriate to the employee’s needs! Remember, everybody needs feedback however, some need more than others.
Step 2: Set up the task effectively
As a manager, one of your jobs is to ensure that your staff have the best chance they can to be effective in each task they carry out. Setting up each task effectively from the start will set it on course for success.
Step 3: Meet your employee’s expectations of you
The following are common expectations and requirements that employees have of their managers, to:
- Actively foster innovation and improvement;
- Allocate tasks and responsibilities consistent with the employee’s abilities and training;
- Apply the same standards to all without favoritism or bias;
- Be technically competent in their job;
- Clearly (unambiguously) explain the required standards of performance;
- Clearly explain how tasks link directly to corporate goals;
- Clearly explain/establish delegations/limits of authorities;
- Ensure an environment for honest and open communication;
- Ensure staff have the equipment and resources to competently perform their tasks;
- Ensure that conflicts within the unit are resolved equitably and respectfully;
- Ensure that staff have the authorities appropriate to their responsibilities;
- Ensure that the interpersonal skills practiced within their unit respect each person as the individual they are and that each person is treated with integrity and dignity;
- Ensure training and development plans are in place to optimise staff performance;
- Establish a relationship with each staff member based on staff member’s individuality;
- Give and receive constructive criticism;
- Give staff the freedom to competently perform their tasks with minimised interference;
- Provide assistance as required to staff to build their competencies;
- Provide support for staff treated unfairly by others;
- Reassign tasks/activities which exceed the staff members responsibilities or competencies;
- Recognise and provide constructive criticism and counseling when required;
- Recognise and provide positive feedback when it is earned;
- Share knowledge and decisions with staff as appropriate;
- Understand each staff member’s intellectual, emotional and physical maturity.
If you would like to learn more about these 3 steps or access the following tools to assist you in building employee productivity:
- Employee engagement productivity profile
- Measure of Engagement Levels
- Job Satisfaction Assessment Tool
- The 12 Essential Tasks required to Manage Employees
- Checklist for Task Risk Assessment
- How to Communicate Effectively
Then you can download CAL’s E-Book ‘Why Would Somebody Work for you?’