As a manager, the performance of your team reflects on you. An underperforming team can be turned around dramatically with the right strategies. A good team can benefit too and become a great team using the following guide.
Provide a Welcoming Environment
When employees get to work in a welcoming environment, the tone for the day is set. Take advantage of windows and natural light to create warmth. Avoid heavy drapes and blinds – all that they should do is eliminate glare from the sun. Going with this natural flow of light, add a lot of green plants to promote a soothing space. If the office is spacious, staff members will feel more relaxed. Provide furniture that follows ergonomic principles for workers and keeps sounds low. Replace barriers that prevent employee collaboration and provide a dedicated area where they can meet to discuss projects, with flip charts and other tools to encourage staff to get together.
Communication is vital for ensuring that employees know what the requirements and standards are and how they are performing against them. Use visual aids, such as charts, to illustrate achieved statistics versus targets. Make sure that the chart has cutoff points for poor, average, good, and excellent.
It is also important to look at any obstacles to performance and make firm decisions on how to overcome them. If the problem lies in another department, voice your commitment to following it up. Do this as soon after the meeting as possible to allow the other manager a chance to make the necessary changes. Be sure to give your employees feedback at the next meeting. Should you not be able to resolve an issue on your own, escalate it at the earliest opportunity. After all, this is your performance too.
Schedule performance meetings on a regular basis. At the same time, arrange routine coaching sessions with the individual employees. Have an open-door policy at a set time, so that employees can come to you with questions or problems, while you can organize the rest of your day to attend to your other tasks.
Create a System for Rewarding Employees
Employees work for a salary. But, at the same time, they want to feel a sense of achievement in their work and to know that their contributions are valued. It is thus essential to have a rewards program in place. This consists of several layers.
Firstly, company bonuses may be paid. Ensure that you hold regular performance management meetings with each staff member and that you highlight gaps where they need to improve and areas of excellence, as well as where they just met the targets. Let them know how this system determines their bonuses and what they can do to increase this.
Secondly, you can set up team awards if your staff members work in groups. Once again, use visual aids to enhance your presentation and make clear how the winner was chosen. You can reward the top team with a paid-for lunch.
Thirdly, there is the recognition of individuals by you (as opposed to company bonuses). This could take the form of a ‘thank you’ email. You can recognize employees with small gifts like company t-shirts, chocolates, or Walmart gift cards for improvement, as well as for achievement.
A staff member who has changed their attitude, started contributing to the team, and is starting to get it right deserves a reward and will be doubly motivated by it.
You can turn your team around, starting now.