Business owners are reliant on their teams to facilitate a smooth running company. If you want to strengthen your team, this guide will help.
Business owners across all sectors can benefit from having a strong, cohesive team. If you run a company, it’s always beneficial to take steps to create a talented, motivated, dedicated team, regardless of whether you have ten or a hundred employees. In this guide, we’ll explore some effective ways to get the best out of your workforce.
Training and development
Many people will accept a job with ambitions to climb the career ladder. As an employer, it’s important to champion development and progression and to actively encourage talented employees to fulfil their potential. Training is an integral component of expanding skill sets, learning new skills and equipping employees to cope with the challenges of the workplace and broaden their knowledge base. There are myriad options available for employers today, including virtual and online learning, training conferences and events, workshops and informal sessions and academic courses that provide employees with additional qualifications. If you’re attending training events, you can arrange to rent a MacBook for your employees to get involved in activities and programs and facilitate onboarding for new team members. It’s useful to research training events and opportunities and to try and match individuals with courses or sessions that complement their personal objectives and address weaknesses. You can also ask your employees to make suggestions and share ideas if they see courses or programs that interest them.
Health and wellbeing
Employee wellbeing is a subject of growing interest among employers. Today, employees don’t just want a job that pays the bills. They also want to achieve a healthy work-life balance and gain satisfaction from their career. It’s essential for employers to understand the importance of morale and wellbeing and to encourage employees to look after their physical and mental health.
There are several ways you can be proactive in enhancing employee wellbeing as a business owner. Examples include providing access to support schemes or incentives that promote active lifestyles or healthy eating, offering flexible working hours and providing time for breaks and windows to enjoy hobbies or activities. Many employees complain that they don’t have the time to stretch their legs, get fresh air or exercise, for example. Some businesses have identified solutions and are now offering exercise sessions and massages on-site or flexible hours that afford time to go for a walk, take a fitness class or do something creative. Take feedback from your employees on board, see what other companies are doing and communicate openly with your team to identify common problems and gather ideas.
Rewards and incentives
We all like to be rewarded for our efforts, and it’s natural to be motivated by incentives. As an employer, it is critical to ensure that your employees feel valued. If your team has been working flat out to hit a deadline or individuals have been doing overtime to cover for employees who are off sick, for example, reward their hard work and commitment and show them that you are grateful for their endeavors. You don’t have to offer giant bonuses or shower employees with expensive gifts. Simple things like encouraging employees who have been working long hours to have a day off, organizing after-work drinks to celebrate finishing a project or buying gift cards to enable your employees to treat themselves can make a difference.
If you fail to reward hard work and positive results or your team feels undervalued, you may find that people start to look for jobs and opportunities elsewhere. Taking good care of your team can help to boost retention rates and ensure you keep hold of your most talented stars.
Communication is key when managing a team and bringing individuals together to work towards shared goals. The best employers and leaders make time to listen to their employees. Meeting with individuals or small teams, encouraging open discussion and inviting employees to share ideas, thoughts, opinions and concerns can help you create an inclusive environment, which is conducive to effective teamwork. Give everyone time and space to talk and ensure that your door is open. If you’re asking people to provide feedback, it’s also imperative to listen and take suggestions on board. If your employees are coming to you with problems or they share ideas and nothing ever seems to change, they may become frustrated.
Facilitating collaborative work
Many businesses now encourage employees to work together on projects. Collaborative work can be incredibly beneficial but there are often obstacles that reduce efficiency and cohesion. As the boss, you can take steps to facilitate group work and bring your employees together. Simple measures like altering layouts or setting aside areas in the office for meetings and working as a team and providing access to tools and software that enable everyone to see and update information in real-time can be game-changers. It’s also helpful to invest in technology that enables employees to communicate effectively in small groups or large teams and to allow flexibility in scheduling to allow time for group sessions.
Forging relationships outside of work can also help to enhance cohesion and create a pleasant working environment. Some people might not want to hang out with their colleagues every weekend but the odd social event is a great idea. This could be anything from going bowling or having dinner at a restaurant on a Friday night to doing a quiz or organizing a charity sports event.
Opportunities to progress
Motivation is a key factor for employee performance. If your employees are doing the same jobs day in, day out and there are limited opportunities to progress and get ahead, they might get bored and they may even start to look for openings at other businesses. If you spot employees with potential, it’s beneficial to support career development and help individuals to achieve their goals. Offering access to training, encouraging employees to develop leadership skills and giving people more responsibility can all help to keep motivation levels high and improve retention rates. It’s also advantageous to offer opportunities for internal candidates if there are more senior roles up for grabs rather than automatically advertising vacancies externally. Talk to your employees so that you understand what their aims and career goals are and look to help them climb up the ladder. Hiring internally can be mutually beneficial. Talented employees who know the ropes and understand the company ethos and culture will be delighted to move up the ranks and business owners will save substantial amounts on hiring and training.
Clarity is critical when it comes to managing teams and overseeing projects. If employees are confused about their roles, the goalposts keep moving or there is a lack of information about deadlines or targets, this increases the risk of delays and mistakes. Employees may also lose motivation and they might not enjoy work as much if they log on every morning not knowing what the day ahead holds. Be clear about overarching project goals and individual roles and responsibilities. Organize regular catch-ups to monitor progress and update your team and make sure that everyone knows that they can ask questions or raise queries.
Business owners are reliant on their teams to keep customers happy and facilitate the smooth running of the company. If you’re eager to strengthen bonds and boost morale, there are several steps you can take. Prioritize health and wellbeing, provide access to training and support career development and try to champion collaborative working. Be flexible, communicate with your employees and listen and take feedback on board. Be clear when establishing objectives and tailor your management approach to the individual.