Managing people ‘right’ is only the beginning – there are many more things you as Manager or Owner should do if you want the best from your team.
Before going further I will define what I mean by ‘best’. You may have a different definition, and that’s all good, this is just the one I have used for over 30 years and it works well for me.
I’m not to concerned about the actual time people arrive or leave work – unless their job has direct customer contact and then I’m very concerned. In all cases I do care about the effectiveness or productivity of the person while they are at work. I don’t want them to work harder just because I happen to walk past, I want them to produce as much as possible during their whole shift. And sometimes that means allowing them to take an unscheduled break!
You can of course insist they stay and continue working, but of they are not effective then I don’t want them there. I’d rather lose 10 minutes in a break than lose 30 minutes over the day because they are working slower than they can. Note that I’m not talking about Production Lines here, they operate on a different set of rules, but most businesses do not have a production line moving items to the next station in a fixed time, whether you have done your job or not.
What might the person do in that 10 minute break? Well, anything they want to – they could join the smokers, they might make use of the company-supplied neck and shoulder massage, or grab a quick game of pool, or just make a cup of ‘real’ coffee.
I also encourage people to attend their children’s sports days, or take an afternoon to buy their life partner a birthday or anniversary gift. As long as I know they have taken the time, I can make sure that everything works while they are not here, and they know that I expect them to catch the time up when it better suits their schedule. (Yes, I do check, and no, nobody has so far ‘stiffed’ me in terms of hours taken and not repaid)
I encourage those with birthdays in a given month to arrange a modest celebration mid-morning one day during that month, and invite all the staff to attend. You feel good if your birthday is being celebrated, and also if you get to enjoy cake and coffee on work time if it isn’t your birthday. This is one of the best 30 – 45 minute investments in productivity you can find, and it is at zero cost to the organisation (apart from time, and that is more than made up by staff during the remainder of the month).
In simple terms – make work as enjoyable as you reasonably can. Happy people are more productive than unhappy people, and at the risk of sounding a little like the pre-ghostly-visit Scrooge – that’s what you need in your business.
What do you do to inspire your team? What tips would you like to share?