How to Bring out the Best in Your Employees

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One of my first managers told me that the core of her job was to help her team be the best they can be. While those words always stuck with me, I think that mentality sometimes gets lost among the administrative details of management. Here are four simple tenets to help you re-focus on bringing out the best in your team:

1. Communicate

Communication is the most important tool in the workplace, but unfortunately, it’s the one we see companies struggle with the most. Employees will follow your lead, so talk to your team and show them you are approachable. In turn, they will communicate better with you and share their difficulties in their job. Knowing these challenges is the key to helping employees solve them.

2. Reward

There’s nothing wrong with a little incentive for good work. However, don’t overdo it. It’s common for people to expect this when they’ve become used to things; and when your employees don’t get rewarded, they might stop working.

Limit rewards for when employees have done an outstanding job that really does exceed the norm (e.g., closing a huge deal, releasing a record-breaking marketing campaign, etc.). Rewards can be in the form of cash bonuses, complimentary travel tickets, goods, gadgets or even paid time off in addition to their regular days off.

3. Compliment

One alternative to giving rewards is complimenting your workers. Give them praise for the good work they do every day. If you’re adept at noticing mistakes, you should also make it a point to recognize good work.

At CultureIQ, one of our values is to “celebrate and enjoy the journey,” and I think this concept is extremely important to motivate employees on an ongoing basis. If employees are working on a year-long project, they need to be recognized and appreciated throughout the year, not just when the project is complete.

4. Balance

People make mistakes, and everyone has weaknesses. Just because your employee missed a deadline this one time doesn’t mean it was due to irresponsibility. There should always be a balance between criticism and praise. If you always criticize your workers, they will feel as though nothing they do is ever good enough for you.

When your employees seem uninterested in their job, reflect on your own performance. A workplace is a community; an ecosystem where every individual interacts with others. Chances are a lapse in performance is related to a larger, contextual situation. It’s your job to understand this ecosystem, and your role in optimizing it for your team.

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