You can see it on a Monday morning, those staff that love their jobs bounce into work with a smile on their faces. It’s in stark contrast to those members of staff who aren’t as enthusiastic or in love with their work. The faces filled with frowns are the employees which should concern any manager in a company. Taking a series of small positive steps can be the catalyst to change the way a member of staff thinks about their job.
One of the biggest gripes staff have is that they feel like they have been left alone to fend for themselves. They are never sure if they are going in the right direction and often only find out when they have taken a wrong path and gone in the wrong direction. A strong leader creates a focal point for all the workers to rally behind.
It’s not about ‘look at me’ but ‘look at us’, see how far we can go as a team and what we can achieve. Steering the ship is half of the job for a good leader and this is always appreciated by the staff. If the thought of turning up to work on a Monday leads to the feeling of dread about not knowing what they are doing then no member of staff is going to love their job.
Create a workplace that they enjoy coming to
Google sent shockwaves around the world of traditional office design when they opted for installing a slide in their Mountain View head office. The principles behind this was to create an enjoyable space for their staff to work in and that can really be the differentiator when it comes to recruiting top talent.
One of the easiest ways to boost staff morale is to help them relax while they work. When you’re planning your office space, include break out zones and items that staff can have fun with such as pool tables and kitchen areas.
Get the whole team involved in the process
In the same way that a leaderless employee is a lost employee, simply being dictated to is soul destroying. Any successful team involves all of the members in the process. Whilst it might be up to the leaders and the managers as to what has to be achieved. Asking the team members for advice and input into the process of achieving the results allows them to feel more involved.
It’s often the case that those who have the boots on the ground will know a more effective process, but that they have never been asked for their knowledge. Having a team full of people whose opinions matter and are involved in the decision process, allows all members of the team to feel valued.
Too often employees only hear from their bosses when they are in trouble. There’s that feeling of going to the headmaster’s office to be told off when you are called through to see the boss. This should not be the instinctive reaction. If all the bosses or managers ever do is provide negative input, then the employees stand no chance of loving their job.
Providing positive praise takes so little time, it’s a wonder it isn’t a normal part of a job. The impact it has on workers not only drives them to achieve great results, but it makes them feel truly valued and cared for.
Show you care
Walking into an office or a work site and saying hello to the receptionist is a regular part of the day. Imagine how much of a difference it would make to their day if you stopped and asked how they were getting on? If you could help them out in any way? It’s taken you two minutes to engage in a positive fashion and to show you care.
It should be standard practice for management level staff to know the names of the employees they are responsible for, how else will you manage them. Taking this further is a way to make your employees feel valued and to love their place of work. It’s about taking a few minutes to get to know what they like and how they are actually feeling about the jobs they are doing. Providing an opportunity for them to talk about anything that is troubling them or grievances they have, could stop it from escalating and might even remove the situation.
When a member of staff is sat in their annual review, knowing full well that the manager sat in front of them has only just picked up their file and is now reading the abridged version of their work history, they know where this review is going to go.
It gives the impression that the manager doesn’t care about this employee. Could you imagine the difference if an employee walked in, to be greeted by the words, ‘Welcome Sarah, great to have the time to talk about how well you worked on the F32 project. Tell me about how you managed it.’
It sets the tone of the review to be about praise and positivity. There’s scope to add in constructive criticism and add targets for the next month or year. But at the end of the review, the employee walks out thinking that their work during the year has been noted, they are valued and that they do make a positive contribution to the company.
“Providing positive praise takes so little time, it’s a wonder it isn’t a normal part of a job.” – David Bowen, Director, Bowen Eldridge Recruitment
Work at relationships
One of the best ways to help staff to love their jobs is to have an on-going relationship with all employees. Set up a time, where everyone is still being paid, but where managerial barriers can be removed. Book a few badminton courts, organise a five-a-side football game or have a company barbecue. It will cost the company pennies in comparison to having to go through the recruitment process when an unloved employee leaves.
The event is designed to allow all employees to talk and get along with each other regardless of their job or level. It also allows for some much needed water-cooler moments and networking to happen.
No employee is ever going to love their job if they are not working in a positive and conducive environment. This starts from the management down, providing the support and positive atmosphere for them to thrive. Taking a pro-active interest in how staff are progressing on projects and in the social side of a business, is a great way for any manager or leader to make a positive impact on their staff.