Recent world events have many of us struggling to get the most out of every aspect of our lives. If you are a business owner, this means getting the most out of your labor force as well. To responsibly ask for more from your employees, it's critical to understand the best way to support your employees as contributors.
People who are worried about their future employment options will not take a chance on
- trying something new
- offer good ideas on changes to improve productivity
- learn a new skill
Change is never easy and uncertainty is worse. Every employee, from the corner office to the janitor's closet, have been through a lot of change in the past couple of years. Your challenge as a business leader is to provide your employees with a consistent working environment that fosters effective input. Good ideas that come up today may not work right now, but anyone who is willing to step up and speak deserves at least to be heard.
Change is inevitable. If you're going to be making major changes that will impact how and where your employees work, get the supplies they need, and track their work, do your best to share data before you fire up the rumor mill.
Expecting the same results from employees who aren't sure what changes they're facing is probably not logical. If you notice that folks are asking you loads of questions about the upcoming changes, it's time for a general update. It's also a good idea to check out other changes you can put in place to make work easier and more logical for each employee.
Bottlenecks generally occur because
- urgency is not understood by all parties
- the person at the bottleneck point is overwhelmed
- there are points along the product and data transmittal path waiting for approval
To fully understand bottlenecks, you may need to become a silent observer of what is working and what isn't. If you notice one employee who is completely slammed, it may be time to take a look at both their workload and their process.
When people are slammed, it's important to remember that this is the time you can start losing folks if you don't get them some help. In the past couple of years, you may have had employees take on more tasks than they can successfully manage. It may be time to contact staffing agencies in Delaware or other US states you may operate from in order to support those employees.
If you have employees who are sort of jack of all trades or who have amorphous job descriptions, it may be a good idea to have your new employees shadow existing employees. The right new-hire will pitch in to help, giving overwhelmed employees a specific helper to pitch in and clear the decks.
Employers are currently in a very weird position. Because so many people have a side hustle, employers need to understand that they are not the only game in town. Pushing your existing labor force for more without adding rewards could leave you high and dry.
Of course, as an employer you may already be working with side hustlers and freelancers of all stripes. You know how much work is out there for freelancers building a fulltime income off of part time work.
Take a "no holds barred" survey of your employees. Would they rather make more for their 40 hours per week, or get paid for 40 and only work 36? Would some like to work from home one or two days a week? Would any be willing to change up the 40 hours they work per week, such as 6 to 2 or a bit later, from 10 to 6?
Offering flexibility can go a long way towards encouraging employee creativity and boosting employee buy-in. Happy workers may be willing to take a gamble and be ready to change up their schedule to offer the next department an easier day. Eventually, you may choose to add this hours requirement in your job description.