How to Get the Best from Your Workforce

Getting the Best From Your Employees

We may be witnessing a rise in AI, machine learning and automation, but one of our most powerful weapons in our armoury when it comes to ‘real-people’ is emotion. Understanding how to harness that is important when considering how to get the best from your workforce.

In a futuristic, robotic world, getting the best out of your workforce could simply mean some intelligently neat programming to get the job done. But could they work creatively? Could they exceed expectations by over-delivering or staying late? Could they build rapport or create charismatic working environments? Not really.

The human workforce is important and we need to nurture it to get the best out of people and their capabilities. The way we treat our employees is the way they will treat our customers – people flourish when they are praised. Thank you Mr. Branson for that wisdom.

Emotion is powerful but it can be both good and bad. If you undervalue your staff, staff will feel undervalued. When people feel undervalued, they are more likely to see themselves as useless and unappreciated – responding by giving the bare minimum. If you treat your staff with respect and offer positive encouragement and praise, they are more likely to perform better because they feel valued and supported.

Here are some simple things you can do to make your staff feel valued:

  1. Incentivise achievements

Most businesses have targets but often companies focus more on the penalties of not meeting them, rather than the praise from hitting them. Reward-based learning is a proven concept and fosters a sense of pride and achievement. Incentivise targets with rewards and make them achievable. If staff are not hitting targets, implement good training and development programmes to support them in improving their performance.

  1. Make staff members feel secure

Job security is extremely important. We all face the threat of job loss or redundancy, due to unforeseen changes in business and industry and that has a considerable impact on people’s lives. While the promise of long-term employment isn’t always a reality, transparency and reassurance go a long way. Another way to help staff feel more secure is to have a good pension scheme and offer the opportunity to invest in shares.

  1. Look after their wellbeing

Going that extra mile for staff is a great way to show them how much you value them as people. If you have the ability to do so, aim to offer staff perks such as a healthcare policy and access to things like discounted gym memberships and food offers.If budget doesn’t yet allow for this, ensure their comfort at work is paramount. Some businesses offer complimentary therapies, such as massage or counselling. Listen to staff needs if they are too hot or cold or have an uncomfortable chair and try to offer solutions.

As a golden rule, train people well enough so they can leave but treat them well enough so they don’t want to.