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An effective workplace can create a long term competitive advantage, helping you to satisfy customers, retain talented employees and maximize profits. How your employees answer the questions below will reveal areas of opportunity to improve your organization.
Question 1: How well do you understand what is expected of you at work?
It might seem embarrassing at first to think that employees who have worked for you for quite some time are still vague about what is expected. Even if you have written job descriptions, they often do not reflect what employees actually do in a day.
Take the opportunity with new hires to clarify expectations about attendance, required work output, quality, teamwork and the need to make suggestions for improvement. If work processes change, meet with employees to re-clarify the expectations and keep everyone on track.
Question 2: To what degree are your talents, passions and interests being utilized in your job?
An employee will feel more motivated if they can satisfy their need for creativity and individual contribution within the organization or work unit. Often these unique talents are not on a resume and the employee might even feel reluctant to bring them up, fearing that they have little to do with their job duties.
Question 3: Are your contributions to the organization recognized and rewarded?
It’s interesting to note that when employees are asked to rate themselves as part of a performance appraisal process, they are often harder on themselves than their manager would be. Many people need reassurance that they are on the right track and that their contribution makes a positive difference. By reinforcing the desired behaviours and results, managers can avoid performance problems and build on gains for future success.
Question 4: How engaged or connected do you feel to the organization and its success?
Regrettably, many employees do not have particularly strong feelings of attachment to their organization and its level of success. To boost engagement, managers need to provide regular feedback so that employees know how their contribution impacts results including customer satisfaction, revenue growth, innovation and profitability.
Question 5: Do you feel adequately trained to do what is expected of you at work?
Effective training has a multiple pay off for an organization, its employees and its customers. Employees who are lacking in the necessary knowledge and skills will be less productive than their trained counterparts. Less skilled employees also have a greater chance of causing customer dissatisfaction which can cause a loss of business or diminished future growth. Training is motivating to employees because they see the value of learning new skills in terms of their current job and for future advancement.
Newly promoted managers are often the most overlooked in terms of receiving adequate training in their leadership role. This has cascading consequences on the organization because their poor leadership skills impact employees and the employees in turn impact the customers.
The varying quality of leadership goes a long way to explain why some store locations, departments and divisions perform better than others.
Some managers may be reluctant to ask the questions for fear that the answers will reveal the need for significant change. Arming yourself with the answers to the five questions above is the best way to ensure your organization’s future success.
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