Dare to Look Beneath the SurfaceIt certainly is easy and ideal to believe that everything is working out well in your organization, especially if you hear nothing to the contrary. However, if you dare look below the surface, you may be surprised.
Most employees are evaluated annually during their performance appraisal interview, so why not do the same for your organization? Have an external company audit of your employees' satisfaction levels: their views on what's positive, what's negative and what simply needs to be changed, modified or adjusted. Make sure you leave room on the form to list new ideas and other suggestions. The results may be painful, but like going to the doctor, it's better to find out that something is wrong sooner rather than later.
Create Employee Satisfaction TeamsOnce you've surveyed your unit, team or organization to determine what works and what doesn't, its strengths and limitations, don't rely on consultants or your senior management team to devise solutions.
Empower a wide range of employees to meet to streamline or improve employee job functions and improve morale. After all, many of these people are on the front lines of what is happening in your organization. Who will know better than them exactly what isn't working? When employees believe that they are part of the process of improving or changing a system, task, policy or procedure, they will be far more interested in helping others carry out and implement the findings. And other employees will value changes more because they will see that their peers have been involved in improving the situation.
Expand the Job Responsibilities of Individual EmployeesThey will feel better, gain skills and do a better job. Partially because we live in such a fast-paced society, individuals often get bored doing the same job over an extended period of time. They seek to do something else, but often they may not have the skills, motivation or opportunity to move up the ladder.
In these cases, one excellent method of improving an employee's outlook and output is to expand his/her specific responsibilities and tasks.
Cross-train EmployeesMost employees are interested in learning new skills and responsibilities. It motivates them and stimulates their interest, curiosity and dedication. It also makes them more valuable to the organization.
Start by asking the employee what additional jobs he/she would like to learn. Then find a mentor to assist in the training. Assure this teacher that his/her job is not on the line; in fact, you should also ask this teacher to become the student of someone else in the organization whose job seems interesting. It's a clear win-win situation for everyone.
Share the Good NewsBad news spreads like wildfire, and this was true even before e-mail. But how about good news? Many leaders dismiss the idea of giving people compliments, falsely believing that individuals should know when they do a good job and shouldn't need someone else to tell them. NOT TRUE.
Almost nothing goes further in making an employee feel good, feel motivated, and feel worthy about the job and themselves than receiving positive feedback, especially from the boss. But don't let it stop there. Share this information through the intranet, voice mail, posting on a bulleting board, and stating it in staff meetings. Employees will see management in a more positive light and will want to strive harder to gain similar acknowledgment. After all, recognition is a key source of motivation, and besides, it simply feels good.