It’s a new year and most organisations have set their annual goals and divisions have cascaded down the goals. Over the years, line managers have become more aware how to create engaging goals for their team. At the same time, employees have become more outspoken about wanting meaningful projects and aligning roles with their values.
As we’re seeing changes to goal setting and performance management, employee engagement still doesn’t seem to be included in this process. In general, employee engagement seems to be a hard nut to crack. This comes despite popular surveys like Gallup’s State of the Workforce having outlined the link between the manager-employee relationship and the employee’s engagement, which in return results in increased productivity, commitment, sales and revenue.
In recent years, companies focused on training line managers to give feedback in real time. This would be given when they see their employees performing outstanding work or when their work makes an impression. The 4-part-feedback model by MIT has been used as a helpful guide for line managers:
- Context: Describing the situation, being as specific as possible and giving it in a timely way
- Behaviour: Describing the behaviour as clearly as possible and without drawing conclusions
- Impact: Describing the results – positive or negative – of this behaviour while being constructive
- Next steps: Describing what specific behaviour should be changed or repeated in response to the feedback and why.
Line managers would highlight areas for improvement. At the same time, they have been asked to focus on enhancing an employee’s strengths. After all, it’s more effective and motivating to concentrate on expanding an employee’s talents.
Just we seemed to have grasped the desire and need for timely feedback, there’s a new challenge.
“Dying for attention”
In 2019, Workhuman discovered the need for line managers to:
- Show more appreciation (31 percent)
- Focus more on employee career growth (19 percent)
- Give an employee more independence (15 percent)
- Focus more on an employee’s learning and development (14 percent)
- Have more frequent 1:1s and check-ins (8 percent)
In addition to these, Jason Averbook highlights an overall “dying for attention” challenge.
“We live in a world where we post things on Instagram and Facebook – we live in this concept of an ‘attention economy’ – yet many employers don’t have effective strategies to give their workforces attention. What they get is feedback, but employees don’t want feedback, they want attention.”
Become more attentive
Researcher Marcus Buckingham warns that feedback, although warranted to correct harmful mistakes, is not the best method for helping an employee excel or engage. This year, organisations, leaders and line managers need to be more in tune with their employees and pay more attention to them.
Employees who feel being heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform to the best of their abilities. To benefit from such increases in productivity, creativity and engagement, line managers can:
- Provide a true open door policy to make employees comfortable to approach their manager
- Spend more 1-1 time with employees
- Practice active listening when meeting
- Observe non-verbal cues
- Act on expressed concerns, including outlining why certain approaches will not be taken
- Be a coach who shows a genuine desire to help their employees develop
- Put in place learning and development plans for employees
- Take a sincere interest in the employee as a person.
Companies have now an opportunity to apply a mixture of leadership tools, coaching techniques and motivation to pay attention to their employees, deepen the commitment to their employees and strengthen their internal capabilities. Like these examples have shown, organisations can introduce paying attention to their employees without spending any money.
Find out how listening to your employees can increase your employee engagement. Contact us today.
Can volunteering be an effective tool to attract, engage and retain employees? Yes and it’s time you use it!
A new approach to attracting talent
Volunteer programmes serve as a proven attraction tool for millennials. This generation is all about aligning their personal values with their organisation’s values. 64% go as far as rejecting job offers if they don’t see the hiring organisation having strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) values.
88% of millennials would also leave an employer whose CSR no longer matches the individual’s values. While other generations may not be as outspoken, CSR is also a recognised retention tool.
When it costs almost 1/3 of the employee’s last total salary to replace them, companies also risk the non-financial implications like reduced moral and increased absenteeism.
It’s high time find new, strategic and holistic approaches to engage and retain talent. This is where employee volunteer programmes linked to the organisation’s community social responsibility (CSR) kick in.
CSR and wellbeing
Although CSR has been around since the 1950s, Archie Carroll’s defined the modern approach in his article “Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility” (published in 1991).
- Economic responsibilities: Be profitable
- Legal responsibilities: Obey the law
- Ethical responsibilities: Be ethical
- Philanthropic responsibilities: Be a good corporate citizen
The philanthropic responsibility may only be a discretional responsibility for an organisation. Yet, 91% of global consumers expect companies to address social and environmental issues and “contribute financial and human resources to the community and to improve the quality of life.”
Looking at these numbers, no business can afford not to have a CRS strategy in place. In its “2017 Volunteerism Survey”, Deloitte discovered that “creating a culture of volunteerism may boost morale, workplace atmosphere and brand perception.”
They further found 77% respondents to “volunteering is essential to employee well-being.” Willis Towers Watson identified 2 in 5 companies customising their wellbeing initiatives to act as a differentiator to attract and retain talent.
It’s been shown over and over again that employees who feel their organisation is inventing in their wellbeing give back to their employer higher productivity and engagement.
Create volunteering opportunities
Supporting employee’s altruistic values, companies can offer volunteering opportunities in different ways: Giving one’s time, energy, skills or talents to a charitable organisation without obviously expecting anything in return.
It’s here when the company’s sincerity for CSR is tested. Businesses donate money for a cause. Yet, when implementing paid-time off volunteering initiatives, the authentic and genuine approach to CSR is shown. It underlines the commitment for specific issues and causes and there are plenty for organisations to choose from, naming just a few:
- Education, where employees mentor school-aged children, read out to children or adopt a school
- Environment, where groups plant trees, organise clean up drives
- Health, where teams participate in a walk or run to raise awareness for diabetes or cancer
- Social, where teams offer pro-bono services or take part in Ramadan iftar initiatives
- Skills, where individuals donate their specialised knowledge
Companies can identify possible causes linked to their corporate goals, mission and purpose. Alternatively, local projects may be selected together with employees. Local government authorities can also act as an introducer to approved charities which whom any organisation may wish to partner.
Reap unexpected benefits
While volunteering increases engagement, organisations have seen other (unexpected) benefits, too.
- 79% of participants in skill-based volunteering found higher job satisfaction and 70% found it having complemented their career development
- 92% of respondents agree that volunteering is an effective way to improve leadership skills
- Relationships with co-workers and colleagues are strengthened, organisational silos are broken down
- 93% of respondents agree volunteering improved their mood, 75% felt healthier and 79% felt less stressed
- Line managers can recognise those employees who go the extra mile and who contribute to their communities through company-sponsored volunteering or on their own initiative
Can your business afford not creating volunteering opportunities? Contact us today and find out how company-sponsored volunteering opportunities can build an engaged and happy workforce.
Do your employees have what it takes to succeed?
All too often business leaders are complaining about complex processes in their organisation. Their employees aren’t achieving as much or as fast as expected. The quality of work needs to be improved. Time is wasted as employees don’t know how to fully use the latest tools. Business results are lacking behind. Does this sound familiar?
No company can afford such inefficiencies. When was the last time you reviewed your approaches towards employee training and learning? Make it a priority and benefit from more engaged and more productive employees, increasing your revenue and overall market position.
While organisations need to prepare their employees for future demands, current skills also need to be established and enhanced. For some businesses, this becomes a fine balancing act. How do you invest in staff when employee turnover is so high?
Companies have different options to train employees:
- Internal formal training. Set up by the subject matter expert in the field, they are sharing their skills and knowledge in a structured training on a one-to-one or a classroom like basis.
- Internal job shadowing. This is more informal and allows the employee to follow (shadow) a colleague when handling a specific task. The employee first observes and can than apply their newly acquired skills first hand.
- Internal development projects. These provide the employee with exposure to new skills and potentially other/new departments and stakeholders. They can accelerate the skills development and prepare high potential employees for their next role.
- Internal coaching. A more experienced colleague in the field or a manager (not the line manager) shares their knowledge and provides guidance to the employee. It’s supportive and allows the employee to explore their concerns and motives with the coach. Coaching is one element of building a high-performance workforce.
- External formal training. Various training providers offer structured courses for participants from different companies in a classroom like environment. Depending on the topic, these training courses may last 1-5 days and may have different levels to increase the participants’ knowledge (e.g. beginner, intermediate and advanced).
- Self-learning options. The employee is put in charge of their own learning, whether through online modules, evening/weekend classes or internal sessions with their team. While larger organisations may have their own learning portals or corporate universities, smaller companies can benefits from training courses offered by Udemy, edX or LinkedIn. The plethora of courses available may overwhelm an employee and together with the line manager, the appropriate course needs to be selected.
Employees who have received training for their current role are shown more engaged at work. They are also happier and more committed to their work. As these employees see the company investing in them, loyalty towards the organisation increases and so does the likelihood to stay with the organisation.
The company can benefit from the investment in different ways. Numerous studies have found that more engaged employees are also performing at higher levels and are producing higher quality of work. They are more alert at work, reducing the number of absenteeism and reducing the number of work-related accidents.
The overall productivity increases which leads to higher sales turnover for the company. Even in a testing economic climate, organisation that invest in their employees are more stable and notice the challenges to a lesser degree.
Set the employee up for success
To achieve the performance goals set at the beginning of the month or year, an employee needs to be enabled to succeed. This fundamental requirement is unfortunately sometimes ignored when tools, systems or access rights aren’t provided to the employee. Any training given to the employee would then become meaningless. As an organisation, start with the basics and ensure your employees have been given the appropriate tools of the trade today.
Identify the gaps
With leaders giving more immediate and on-the-spot feedback, knowledge gaps can be discovered, often in a straight-forward way.
What needs to be trained? Does the employee have an expiring skill that needs to be updated? Think about skills that are no longer required (much). This could be a manual way of sorting a product on a production belt while the process is moving towards automation. It could also be the employee knowing Linux and in need of learning learn Java, which the current programming language used by the organisation.
And why? 1) Did the employee not know because they hadn’t been informed about the appropriate execution and/or behaviour? 2) Or did they not perform the task/demonstrate the behaviour because they didn’t want to? 3) Or does the employee want to learn more?
Decide on the appropriate training
Not knowing how to perform a task or which behaviour to display can make training easier. It’s often down to communication where guidance can be a good start. Line managers may already have an idea which type of training is suitable for their employee. This may be formal training by a colleague, within an external training setting or self-directed learning, as outlined above. If in doubt, HR has to support the line manager and the employee identifying the appropriate training or training mix. Whatever is given needs to be remembered and can’t just become some time away from the office.
Not wanting to perform the task according the required procedure or not acting within the company’s guidelines is more challenging and may be a performance management issue. Here, conversations and coaching discovering the underlying reasons for ignoring the organisation’s standards are required. The direct line manager should start such discussions before involving senior management and HR. They also need to support the company’s policies and guidelines by publicly demonstrating them living and adherence to them. Otherwise, changing behaviour becomes meaningless.
Involve the employee
Employees are often said to fall into the entitlement trap. “I will only participate in a training session when offered by my company.” This mentality has to be stopped! These days, organisations are placing the emphasis on career development and training on their employees: “My career, my drive” or “Be More” are just two examples.
Training opportunities can be combined with career development discussions and questions may also be asked around personal goals of an employee. It’s important to honestly discuss these objectives as they’ll form the basis for any training and development plan created for the employee. Line managers have to set realistic expectations. In times where budgets are often limited, an executive MBA may not be (fully) sponsored by the organisation, however, study leave may be granted or the organisation may be used as a case study. Often, post-graduate studies are looking at real business challenges and the organisation benefits from innovative solutions to fix an existing challenge.
A skills inventory helps organisations to track the available knowledge within the company. At first, the core skills may only be tracked and other skills can be added in phases. Alternatively and as part of a bigger project, all skills can be identified in one step and the different knowledge levels (e.g. non-existent, beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert) can be assigned to each employee.
Organisations use the inventory to identify the training needs for day-to-day operations on a short-term basis. The inventory can be used for project assignments and substitutes, for example, in case of unexpected long-term illnesses.
Define future skills
Besides looking at the immediate skills needs, companies should consider the emerging skills in the market place and the shifts in customer demands.
Customers and clients provide feedback and by listening to them, companies can predict future products/services needs. They can also predict the necessary skills sets to develop the future products/services. Industry groups and business leaders can also offer valuable insights into future demands.
During the regular business review meetings, senior management can also discuss the need to change existing processes, prepare for future automation and re-evaluate ways of working. While some may be quickly adjusted, others may require project teams to define an enhanced outcome. Such teams can provide additional input into skills requirement in the near future.
Line managers and HR have to collaborate to identify the appropriate training for each employee. The employee’s motivation for short, medium and long-term training has to be factored in. This is where line managers can bridge organisational requirements with individual goals.
While some skills sets are to be acquired over longer periods, certain industries are rapidly changing and require more agile learning opportunities. Short and mid-term requirements also need to be considered and can be integrated into the monthly and annual performance goals.
Reap the benefits
Companies which provide strategic training opportunities also connect learning with their internal succession planning. Traditionally, skills inventories were reserved for only larger corporations. These days, smaller companies that pro-actively review the internal knowledge can limit the disruption caused by the departure of a key employee.
Furthermore, training and skills inventories can support internal recruitment across functions. Companies can identify and select suitable candidates, without having to create “fake” advertisements. This saves line managers and HR time and avoids disappointment amongst employees, not qualified for the role. This approach will need to be reflected in the HR policies, rather than an “all vacancies must be published” one. For smaller organisations, this can also serve as a retention tool since employees are given exposure to other areas without the bureaucracy often experienced in large corporations.
Don’t forget to show the benefits of training to your staff. It leaves them inspired to participate when they see how their work processes become quicker and smoother after a training. It brings them closer to the achieving their annual performance goals and, if linked, any personal goals. It underlines commitment of the organisation to the employees’ career development, resulting in higher engagement and loyalty from the individual. This will support the change in mentality discussed above. Rather than placing the ownership of training on the company, the employee has to play an active part, too.
Is your organisation ready to benefit from more engaged and productive employees? We support organisations looking for individualised training solutions fit for their business now and in the future. Contact us and find out how we can support your company.
Over the last 3 years, National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) has won many coveted HR awards across the region. Following its success in 2016 and 2017, NBF’s HR team has again been awarded “Best HR Team” this year. In 2017, Korn Ferry recognised the bank among its list of high performing organisations in the Middle East. It has been also awarded the “Innovation in Employee Engagement” prize and received the “Mark of Excellence for Nationalisation Initiative of the Year” in 2016/17 at the HR Excellence Awards.
These awards reflect NBF’s journey towards HR excellence and its commitment to creating a stimulating working environment. The last eight years reflect this unwavering commitment to driving employee satisfaction and creating a highly engaged workforce.
Earlier this month, we met with Mr. Abdulla Aleter, Head of Human Resources, and learnt how NBF overcame the challenges when implementing their wellbeing initiatives. We are excited to share his tips and lessons learnt with you and show how they managed to achieve ROI on their wellbeing initiatives.
When Aleter started in 2010, the bank had to identify new ways to engage employees. The 2008 financial crisis also left room to increase staff efficiency and do things differently. NBF’s CEO, Mr. Vince Cook, Aleter and NBF’s management team embarked on a change journey which would transform the bank by 180 degrees and make it one of the most sought-after employer brands in the UAE.
To understand where they stood, the first employee survey was conducted in 2010 whereby around 15,000 comments were submitted. Aleter has read each and every comment then and continues to do so. Despite the number dropping significantly to roughly 1,000 comments in the last survey, Aleter appreciates honest feedback from all employees.
For Aleter, listening to NBF’s employees is crucial. Employees provide diverse and innovative ideas and suggestions to the business. They also share what’s important to them, rather than what management thinks employees value. Aleter pointed out that each of NBF’s activities had to focus on the employee and their needs. Now, this should be the norm. Yet, we’ve seen numerous companies emphasise revenue over employees, questioning what “HR” stands for.
Act on the feedback
Aleter also emphasised the need to act upon employee feedback as a next step. His team grouped feedback into specific categories and then assigned each action to a specific action owner. This way, progress could easily be tracked and nobody could shy away from their responsibility to improve the bank’s operations. For him, accountability and communication of progress are key to NBF’s successful transformation.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
This is also a valuable reminder for every organisation: Take time out and define the appropriate communication strategy. Decide on the different channels for each employee group before implementing the actions resulting from the employee survey.
For NBF, it was clear. Each manager had to play an active role in the communication process. Aleter’s team designed and carried out management training sessions to prepare leaders for the appropriate messages, handling employee queries and supporting every staff member during the transition.
Based on the feedback from employees, CEO Cook and Aleter announced the upcoming initiatives to all employees. Amongst others, NBF launched its Employee Wellbeing Programme (EWP) – the first by a local bank.
A holistic approach
NBF took a number of strategic decisions when designing the EWP. The EWP was to take a holistic wellbeing approach including aspects of body, health and mind. In addition, it was to be offered to employees and family members alike. This placed NBF ahead of other organisations in the UAE which generally implemented one-off wellness initiatives. Only in recent times have we seen an increase in interconnected wellbeing programmes offered for employees and dependents in the region.
The bank has expanded its sports groups over the years and has become the main sponsor for the NBF Fujairah Run, the inaugural event took place in December 2017. In addition to running, employees cycle, play badminton and cricket and can even learn to swim. Aleter shared the remarkable story of one employee who was afraid of being in the water. Curious to learn how to swim after witnessing the headway his colleagues made in the pool, this employee approached the coach, took small steps and has now pledged to a swimming race.
Believing that healthy minds come from healthy bodies, NBF continuous to encourage its employees to lead a healthy lifestyle by making small behavioural changes like staying hydrated. Upon noticing that employees were showing more interest in being physically active, the bank supplemented this lifestyle change with re-educating staff about their diet. Aleter proudly shared that some employees even managed to lose some weight, with one individual shedding 20 kg. All these lifestyle changes also left a positive mark on the usage of NBF’s medical insurance. With the rising cost of healthcare, this is an important benefit for any company these days.
The sports groups have further impacted employees at work and helped to build connections within and across departments. Spending more time in a non-work and more relaxed environment helped to improve communication and deepen relationships between team members. Furthermore, silos across the organisation were broken down, increasing productivity and consequently business performance.
For NBF, the EWP also spreads to any personal issue an employee may be experiencing at home. Aleter explained that it’s essential to give employees the support at work to also address their personal issues with the right financial, legal and relationship advice. As such, NBF engaged AXA ICAS to provide independent, confidential and qualified counselling services in person or over the phone to NBF employees and family members, available 24/7 and in multiple languages.
Over the years, NBF has reiterated its view of employees as the most valuable assets the bank has. The bank’s actions and programmes echo their beliefs. The investment in its EWP has certainly paid off for NBF. The bank has become a highly performing organisation with a highly engaged workforce. Its reinforced commitment to staff welfare and wellbeing has created a supportive culture which empowers employees and allows them to grow both personally and professionally. All these actions established NBF as a leading organisation and employer of choice for expatriates and Emiratis alike. The bank’s business results are indicative of this success.
If you are planning your wellbeing initiative, consider Aleter’s most important tips for a successful Employee Wellbeing Programme (EWP):
- Treat your employees as human beings.
- Work with your leadership team.
- Actively listen to your staff.
- Act on the feedback no matter how small.
- Keep employees aware of the progress.
- Don’t worry. Business results will follow automatically.
We’d like to thank Mr. Abdulla Aleter for his time and sharing NBF’s journey as one of the leading HR team’s in the UAE. Shukran!
The high temperatures in the summer can affect us, even when trying to stay cool indoors. Add these to engagements results and you are starting to wonder. Will we achieve the sales goals set for the quarter? Will we finish the projects we’ve been working on? No company can afford a slow summer!
Gallup’s research found only 15% of employees globally or 14% of employees in the Middle East engaged at work. These individuals are the ones who drive your organisation forward. Either number is substantially below what any company requires to succeed. It’s therefore a must for any organisation to review their not-engaged population. Easier to identify than the sabotaging actively disengaged employees, not-engaged employees do just enough to keep their job. They won’t go the extra mile or are indifferent towards customer needs or company requirements.
The 3 types of employees according to Gallup’s State of the Workforce (figures for the Middle East):
- Engaged employees (14%) work with passion and feel profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organisation forward.
- Not-engaged employees (64%) are essentially “checked out”. They’re sleepwalking through their workday, putting time – but not energy or passion – into their work.
- Actively disengaged employees (22%) aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged co-workers accomplish.
The research conducted by Gallup further found once again the direct link between engagement, productivity, sales and consequently bottom-line results. Highly engagement organisations have reduced their safety incidents by 70% and increased profitability by 21%. As publicly traded organisations, they’ve further grown their earnings per share by 115% compared to just 27% by other companies. Can you afford to lag behind your competition? This summer, start making small changes to increase your employees’ commitment and dedication to their work and your overall success.
Localise your global initiatives
In a region as diverse as ours, many initiatives from headquarters based in the US or Japan may not work here. You’ll need to identify what your employees here value and what motivates them. This can be done with formal employee surveys or informal conversations, whether between the manager and employee or within team meetings.
Encourage new ways of meeting
Walking meetings in the winter time are a great way to get up and moving. Not just physically but also mentally. Summer temperatures are limiting many teams to continue. Conduct a standing meeting. Is your company already active, go further: Hold meetings on out wobbly boards or stationary bikes at your corporate gym.
Provide flexible working schedules
During Ramadan, many companies not only work shorter working hours. They also provide alternative work patterns. Continue offering different start/finish times while implementing core working hours. You can extend your availability for your clients and allow your employees to arrive without the daily stress caused by busy traffic and school drop offs.
Allow employees to switch off
Due to our geographic location, it doesn’t come as a surprise that this region is one of the most connected ones in the world. Many employees don’t feel they have the right to switch off after work. They regularly check their mobiles after work and on weekends, often out of fear to miss an email from their boss or client. Western companies switch off email deliveries to allow their employees to enjoy their time away from the office, resulting in “better conversations”.
Invest in wellbeing
Long commutes, some of the longest working hours in the world plus the increasing cost of living put a strain on employees. As a company, encourage employees to take breaks, eat balanced and healthy meals as well as being physically active.
As part of your wellbeing strategy, team up with your health insurance provider and offer meditation classes. They have been proven to reduce stress and strengthen resilience. Apps like Insight Timer can support the employee while at home or on travel.
Combine physical team activities
Playing sports together has shown to positively improve relationships and increase open communication at work. Employers are using this insight when hosting cricket matches or arranging family fun run days. During the summer, organisations should look at alternative indoor options. Host a summer stairs challenge. While more strenuous at first, climbing stairs is gentle on the joints. Participants will notice their fitness levels improve faster compared to steps challenges.
Do you want to take your team out of their regular place of work to boost morale, find new perspectives and come up with fresh ideas? Take the team to cooler places! A snow hike in Ski Dubai and ice skating in Dubai Mall may sound like fun. Just like the obstacle course at Adventurezone in Times Square, everyone in the team can lift up other members and help them accomplish the course.
Supporting a cause aligned to the company’s values has numerous advantages. Your written statements come strategically to live by acting on them. Similar to team sports, employees volunteering together form deeper relationships. Companies that are engaged in the local community rank higher in attracting candidates, resulting in lower recruitment costs.
Charities like Dubai Cares organise various open campaigns during the year. If you prefer to hold a company/cause specific event, providers like Gulf for Good can also support you creating these while staying compliant with the UAE charity regulations.
Create more meaning
More studies are conducted showing the relationship between an employee’s values, their role and their engagement levels. The more meaning an individual sees in their job, the higher their engagement and commitment. In the past, this may have been expected predominantly in the charity sector and is no longer this exclusive. Regardless of industry, applying personal interests and finding a purpose in the role has been seen as the number one driver for employee job satisfaction and engagement.
Be an authentic leader
This outlines the importance of line managers understanding the individual’s motivation, values and aspirations. Whether they use daily chats or formal feedback sessions, a line manager can learn a lot about their team members by actively listening and showing genuine concern for them.
Recognise the employee. A simple “thank you” is effective way to acknowledge an individual. It’s surprising to see it as an underutilised tool despite it being linked to an employee’s intend to stay and commitment levels. Paul Mastrangelo and Karen Barbera’s article in CEB’s CHRO Quarterly Q1 2018 identified employees feeling trusted and valued as one of the strongest engagement drivers.
Provide them with formal and informal learning opportunities to develop their skills further. It doesn’t always need to be an external training organisation that delivers a course. Allow your employees to share their knowledge for their own team or for another department.
Support the individual when taking personal development courses outside of work. Continuous development can provide employees with the tools to manage their current role more effectively and prepare them for future roles.
As such, your training and development policy may provide a financial contribution towards the course fees. Alternative schedules as mentioned above and special assignments where theory can be put into practice can boost the individual’s learning and result again in higher engagement.
While not every organisation has the funds for extensive training programmes, global assignments or fancy sports initiatives, introducing even little changes can result in increased motivation, drive and commitment from your employees. Can you afford to not make these enhancements to your current practice? Contact us today and learn how your organisation can benefit from lower absenteeism, higher productivity and overall sales.
Many businesses are being asked to do more with less. Is your organisation one of them?
US-based companies lose 20-30 per cent of their revenue due to inefficiency. It is expected that this number is even higher in this region. It is high time for companies, whether an SME or a large corporation to tackle the issue and increase the team’s productivity with these 5 tips:
Set realistic expectations
Start with the basics. It is too often ignored! During the induction, companies outline the expected behaviour and describe the organisation’s culture to new joiners. For existing employees, however, line managers don’t reiterate their performance expectations throughout the year. With many organisations still in the initiation phase of setting 2018 goals, line managers can use this period, set SMART goals and again define standards and expectations.
Throughout the year, line managers can increase their team’s productivity by clarifying roles and responsibilities. This can be done through a job description, team meetings and/or project charters. As the team is getting a deeper understanding about their interconnectedness of their contributions, they can review processes and identify duplication and waste before recommending process improvements.
Enable the individual
Line managers need to support the individual to create a well-functioning and highly performing team. As such, line managers can conduct a knowledge gap and training needs analysis. Assessing the knowledge and skills of each employee, the line manager decides what training the employee requires. Training does not have to be formal classes only. Online courses, webinars, product demos and tutorials, lectures, articles and books can be a cost-effective (if not even free of charge) alternative.
An employee will also need to have the required tools to perform to increase their productivity. This includes providing the appropriate software packages, but also access rights to the required systems and data, access to the client’s database to arrange sales calls and the freedom to make decisions.
All too often, we find ourselves in meetings that should have been an email or a phone call. We spend too much time in meetings with no concrete actions as an outcome. This year, reduce the number of meetings and change the standard meeting time to 30 minutes. If this is already in place, shorten it to 20 minutes.
Being bombarded with information from all sides and all times of the day, communication with the team needs to be clear and precise to avoid confusion. This cannot be underestimate in a region with as many different native languages and cultures. As with the expectations mentioned above, line managers can use this time to define how to handle requests, e.g. those marked “urgent”, which seems to be the norm in many organisations.
Throughout the day and week, line managers can use constructive feedback when there’s an opportunity for an improvement and help an employee become more efficient and effective. Instead of the dreaded monthly or annual performance review, line managers can have informal chats or check ins with their team (individual employee and entire team) and use these observations to take corrective actions as well as lead the activities over the coming days, weeks and months.
Finishing work on time is for many employees their motivation. This, however, does not mean they’re productive during working hours. Line managers, possibly together with HR, need to identify ways to recognise and celebrate the team’s achievements and motivate them. While this could be an extra (financial) incentive, it may set the wrong tone and non-financial rewards may be more appropriate. Team lunches foster communication and team working, too. Karaoke events or sporting competitions, in particular against other teams within the organisation, are fun and promote the team spirit.
Can’t afford to waste time and money due to team and process inefficiency? Are you looking for a more engaged and more productive team? Call us on +971-52-2516322 and find out how we can help you develop a high performing culture reflected in increased sales and revenue.