Never has the modern world been more volatile than at the current time. Anxiety and uncertainty have rocked industries and businesses, in fact, all communities. But now is probably the perfect time to prepare for a return to a more stable working platform and consider ways to get your team re-engaged and ready for a new phase of productivity.
Senior managers are well aware that most workforces are characterised by a variety of employee ’types’. Those who are 100% committed to their job and feel a sense of loyalty to their company (a recent Gallup poll suggests about 34%). These staff will use their initiative and have a shared sense of pride in their own and colleagues’ achievements.
The bulk of employees who are compliant but unengaged. This group do their job satisfactorily but have no strong allegiance to their company and no desire to do more than their job description demands.
Then there is the last group, the discontented, whose apathy and /or negativity are not only frustrating but can be destructive and lead to seeping toxicity amongst the ranks.
Amongst all these groups there is talent and potential – after all, they were initially appointed for their skills and capability. It’s just that somewhere along the way, something has dulled their enthusiasm for the job. Identifying that ‘something’ is the first step to addressing the issue but often the individuals themselves are unable to pinpoint what it might be.
Perhaps surprisingly, money is not always the prime motivator for job satisfaction. Research implies that positive workplace morale tops that list – worth keeping in mind as you strategise ways to engage staff. Remember too, that the solidity of a hierarchical business structure relies on a solid base to avoid a precarious imbalance at the top. That base is made up of the majority of your staff.
So, what strategies are available to revitalise your workforce’s interest and keep the team pulling in the same direction?
Aim to engender mutual honesty and transparency in all communication
Building an environment where employees have avenues to offer feedback eliminates the opportunity for grievances to simmer – but only if the feedback is acknowledged and acted upon. Make yourself available; be seen. Expect some negativity but don’t be surprised when you receive innovative ideas that make their way to the boardroom.
Ensure that everyone is in the right role and that the role remains challenging
Employees can stagnate when a task becomes routine but setting realistic new goals, or offering a new position whets the appetite. Offer training to develop skills – but don’t impose it. Aim to be transparent about your expectations and hold people to account. Employees respect clear, unfluctuating boundaries.
Check-in often and recognise good work and the effect it has on the business
Praise success – but honestly and specific. Employees are quick to spot a manager who offers platitudes.
Team building for productivity
Enforced team building is passé and guaranteed to elicit groans. However, the unifying effect of great team-building exercises can be invaluable in motivating a group. Inviting your employees to identify areas of need, then tailoring activities in response can be both beneficial and fulfilling, creating a sense of ownership.
Remember that your position, though it comes with responsibility and authority, does not necessarily mean you have all the answers. Learn to listen and trust your team.
The MEC Mining team pride themselves on adopting this strategy to encourage highly engaged team members who enjoy the challenging and diverse projects the business is awarded.