An employee who functions to her full potential is a valuable asset for any company. You may have 20 employees but at times only five of them may be actually adding value. As an employer, you invest in hiring and you need to ensure each employee is engaged after joining and is contributing significantly to the overall productivity of the organisation.
Employee productivity is a crucial aspect of the success dynamics of a company and it takes more than the employee’s potential to increase productivity. Set capability aside for a moment, a number of environmental factors too play a role in determining whether a company’s employees are at their productive best. If you have two employees of similar calibre and commitment giving contrasting outputs, it would serve you to sit back and think what is going wrong with the non-performer.
To put the human aspect of an employee before the resource aspect works not just in the employee’s personal favour but in the larger interests of the company as well as it helps cut costs, deliver on deadlines, improve the work culture and promote retention.
Having a personal equation with your employees opens up many knots and eases the employees. They may be reporting to you daily on the professional front, but knowing something about them beyond their work will only boost their morale. If the bright girl under your wing has started to look jaded and sullen of late and has not been producing results as desired, she might be going through a rough patch in her personal life. Noticing such things and trying to sort them out, preferably with team members, can help. This can also help create a strong bong within the team.
Playing to the strengths and ironing out the weaknesses and motivating the employees to learn and excel can work wonders. If you notice an employee is shy and introvert, you can recommend him personality development classes; if you observe an employee losing temper often, advise him to keep control.
Further, senior level officers also need to keep in mind that they have to build an engaged workforce. For the same, delegating work and transferring responsibility is very important. If the senior person keeps the work concentrated in a few hands, junior level employees will neither learn nor take responsibility. Remember, delegation is not only a strategy to manage time and resource well, it also empowers. When you delegate work, you transfix greater responsibility to your juniors. In doing so, you also give them greater authority and control over their job. This also gives employees a lot of space to learn about the industry and discover their strengths. The more an employee is responsible for, the more exposure she will get and the more chances of growth and development.
Also, fresh thinking and creative working is something that drives young employees. Rather than stick to the tried-and-tested formulae, the employers should give their employees a free hand to develop their own codes and procedures. Encouraging them to think afresh and spring up out-of-the-box ideas is very important.
Often, despite desiring to pursue further education and training, young graduates take up jobs to earn a living. An organisation’s framework and policies need to be encouraging towards pursuing advanced studies too, so that an employee doesn’t feel compelled to quit a job to study further.
Following such simple steps can actually do wonders for a company and its employees.
By Rajeev Bhardwaj
The author is vice-president, HR, Sun Life Financial