When your employees are humming along and doing their best work, more than likely you’re humming, too.
Unless you’re just damn lucky, it’s not an accident.
If you’re like most of us, you had to work to create that environment. And you have to work even harder to sustain it.
To do that takes a well-thought-out plan. Don’t have one?
Well, here are the seven key components I use:
1) Give Reasonable And Clear Expectations
It’s a common misconception that even your best employees know what’s what. But the truth is, people need to be reminded of what is expected.
Make a special point to sit down with them regularly, especially with new employees, to explain in a straightforward manner what your standards and expectations are.
2) Delegate To Build Trust
Trust is another essential. Building trust is best done by sharing responsibility. So when you delegate a task, delegate the responsibility that goes with it.
Allowing people to assist in a meaningful way sends a clear message that you have faith in them, you value their skills, and you want them to succeed and grow in their careers, too.
3) Grow Your Star Performers
Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to supervise a team of A players? They’re smart, hard workers and high achievers who know what it takes to get the job done.
Embrace their abilities, show them the way up the ladder, then get out of their way.
Remember, really good people will find their way elsewhere when they don’t get what they want.
4) When You Make Mistakes, Admit Them — Then Fix Them
So, you blew it. You’ve made a mistake that cost someone. What you do next will make all the difference in winning the respect and support of the people around you — or not.
When you admit a mistake, then fix it, employees know they can invest themselves in you safely.
5) Send Daily Signals That You Are Engaged
Employees know when their manager is engaged and involved. And they know when someone is just going through the motions.
Remember all the bosses you’ve had? Each one sent signals that let you know whether they were up to and interested in the job.
Good people take their signals from what you do, not what you say.
6) Offer Blueprints For Improvement
Sooner or later you’ll encounter the employees who just aren’t cutting it.
Their behavior alienates others. They miss deadlines. They do a sloppy job. They always have an excuse.
Your first temptation may be to fire him or her. Cut your losses and move on. But it’s likely there’s been a lot of time and money invested in the person, so the loss will be costly.
Before you give up, give them one more shot, but this time lay out an improvement plan for them that has a real blueprint for success. With a clear picture of what to do, he or she may turn out to have that special something you thought you spotted when you hired them.
7) Toss The Bad Apples
But when that doesn’t work, cut your losses. Experience shows that one bad employee – even among a group of strong ones – can ruin rest. You can’t afford to keep him or her.
Cohesion, value, fun and productivity are all at stake.