Your staff, your business
During tough economic times, it’s particularly difficult for business owners and managers to maintain staff morale. However, if service is fundamental to your business, motivating staff is critical to success. When it comes down to it, satisfied and well supported employees deliver better customer service.
Not all managers are born leaders however – and if employees are disenfranchised, very often the root cause lies at the top. I’ve recently observed some staggering examples of mistreatment, resulting in resentment and unhappiness for the affected individual, with the potential to lead to eventual burnout due to stress and ill health.
So what makes a good leader and which are the traps to avoid?
The right fit
First of all, it’s important to create a good working environment. Employers spend a lot of time and money in attracting the right people, so providing an incentive for them to stay makes good commercial sense.
Space to grow
A good leader provides meaningful work and allows staff the freedom to learn and develop their skills. Failure to delegate and constant interference not only holds employees back but results in deep frustration when they can’t perform their job due to unreasonable restrictions.
It’s important to ensure that everyone is on board with the company’s mission and values, with a clear understanding of deliverables and targets. Confusion can lead to dissatisfaction and disappointment on both sides.
Reward systems are important but it’s not all about money. Recognising individual worth and allowing staff to extend themselves is equally important when it comes to happiness and job fulfillment.
Recession is no excuse to treat staff poorly. Regard them as an asset rather than a replaceable commodity and they will still be with you when the market improves. You don’t want to get a reputation as a bad employer, especially in a local marketplace – and those that transgress may find themselves up against stiff competition or unable to find the right people.
As a leader, your job is to inspire and motivate your staff, particularly when times get tough. Look at any successful business and you will find employees at the heart of it.
Anything to add? Let me know if you have further ideas or experience of good leadership.