If you want your business to run smoothly, it is important that you maintain communication with your employees. Good communications will not only ensure that your facility runs smoothly, but also that your staff morale is good.
Face-to-face communication will be the most personal, direct way to communicate and will give your employees the feeling that they’re part of the company. Communicate with your employees on a daily basis in a professional, respectful and friendly manner, but don’t get too personal.
In addition, we recommend conducting staff meetings to discuss all issues at hand. Below are some additional tips for communicating with employees.
Consider hosting monthly employee meetings. The meeting is a forum for communication from management to employees, as well as from employees to management. Without good communication, rumors and misinformation run rampant in organizations of all sizes. Being informed creates a feeling of involvement and increases the sense of ownership that stimulates productivity.
Your staff meetings may have a formal agenda, or may be an open forum for discussion on the issues impacting your business. Use the staff meetings to create a back-and-forth dialogue of ideas to give your staff the feeling that they are a truly valued part of your business and to discuss topics, such as, new procedures or policies, or any issues at hand.
• Set a goal of what you would like to accomplish at your meeting;
An unnecessary or poorly conducted meeting can bring everyone down, because attendees feel like their time is not valued.
• Meetings should be fun and positive;
People are less likely to give their full attention during meetings that are negative, dull and/or boring.
• For a change of pace, hold some meetings outside of the business location;
Every so often, hold your staff meeting outside your business. Consider a local restaurant, a meeting room at your town library, etc. The unfamiliar surroundings will help generate creative practice-building strategies and solutions.
• Schedule the meeting so that is does not interfere with the work schedule;
Asking staff members to stay late or to come in early is a common staff complaint and not conducive to getting their best thinking. If you schedule meetings during off work times make sure to compensate them justly.
• Provide food and drink during the meeting;
Studies show that when people consume food blood from their brain goes to their stomach to help with the digestion process which could make people less attentive at a meeting. Whether you believe in this theory or not it still can be distracting to have people making plates and eating while you’re trying to discuss important topics.
We find a positive meeting followed by some refreshments works well. If your meeting is lengthy you can also serve refreshments as a way to break up the meeting. You use this time to have your employees break into groups and discuss specific topics from the meeting while eating and then regroup after to share everyone’s ideas and opinions.
• The meeting agenda should include information, input, response, and discussion; and
At each staff meeting ask every team member to share an issue, task or situation they might feel stuck on or challenged by. Have the other staff members give feedback, provide some mentoring and share their ideas to help resolve the dilemma or issue. Encourage your team to brainstorm ideas and solutions.
• Encourage everyone in the meeting to get involved.
Being the only speaker or letting a few others control the meeting can lead to employees feeling like their ideas or opinions do not matter.
A good practice is to try and involve every team member. Thus, everyone feels as though they made a difference in the meeting. By asking the right questions and/or letting employees have the floor to express their ideas and feelings on specific topics, you may be able to get some great ideas or insightful information.
The primary way to keep employees motivated is to make sure they are a contributing member to your businesses success. To do this, you must strive every day to empower your employees to make decisions based on your guidance and goals. For this to be successful, you must be absolutely clear about your guidance and goals, and careful not to punish honest mistakes which are made within those guidelines.
Additional ways to motivate your employees involve events, which build teamwork and camaraderie. For example, you can host a Birthday party or a Super Bowl party. These events not only give you a chance to thank everyone for a job well done, they are also ways to add something extra (FUN!) to your employees’ overall “Compensation.”
Anything that will make their work experience better (such as a fun work environment) should not only help motivate your employees to be more productive, but also make your business the place to work, thus attracting the best of the best.
Author: Cheryl Hutchinson, Director of Franchise Administrations
JB Franchise Group, LLC