While mechanization is certainly an integral part of how businesses operate today, the human factor is still vital in countless areas of manufacturing, sales and transportation. Keeping workers engaged in their jobs is vital to maintaining a high level of production.
There is much a company can do to create an environment where workers feel they are vital to the outcome of a company’s mission whether it be in manufacturing or customer service.
One suggestion to keeping employees productive, engaged, and giving 100 percent of their effort is to create the right work environment. Let them have a say in everyday operations. Give them ample control over how things are done. When possible, supervisors should keep a low profile as long as employees are getting the job done. This instills a sense of trust with employees.
Management should do all it can to see that members of a company’s workforce are fully equipped to do their assigned jobs. That means providing all the necessary training and information. Set goals for workers, and provide positive feedback when it is deserved.
Supervisors should provide clear expectations and specific deadlines when assigning projects. This way both parties are aware of what is expected. Workers also should know who they can go to when problems arise.
Giving workers decision-making authority is another way to empower them. As an example, one businessman gave his customer service staff permission to spend up to $400 when resolving customer service issues without having to seek permission from upper management.
Remember, though, there is a flip side to every coin. Management practices that ignore the positive results mentioned above can have negative ramifications that ultimately harm a business.
Paying less than competitive wages sends a clear message that the company cares little for its workers and much more about profits. When workers feel unappreciated they are likely to be less productive and are more likely to look for work elsewhere. Remember to pay workers fairly and competitively.
Secondly, let employees know they are appreciated. Praise and recognition for a job well done goes a long way. Hard working employees who get no positive feedback are likely to respond by slowing down and doing just enough to get by.
While empowering workers can be a good thing, a company shouldn’t overdo it. Giving someone too many responsibilities beyond what his or her position calls for can have negative results. A business doesn’t want to leave workers with the feeling they are being “dumped” on. When that happens and nothing is given in return, such as a raise, time off or another type of perk, supervisors shouldn’t surprised when the grumbling begins and workers begin knocking on the doors of a firm’s competitors.
When a company doesn’t take people for granted and shows its appreciation for its employees hard work, the firm likely will have a contented workforce willing to go the extra mile.