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Want Higher Profits?

Your staff holds the key. Here are five steps for maximizing their performance.

By Tess Marshall

“Nothing I do seems to matter.”
“No one cares around here.”
“What's the use? What I do doesn't impact the bottom line.”

Sound familiar? Every day, thousands of employees think such expressions to themselves. And the more they think these things, the more their morale declines. Even if you never hear your staff utter these words, you can spot low morale in an instant. Procrastination on projects, gossiping at the water cooler, excessive absenteeism, refusal to pitch in unless asked and low interest in clients are some common symptoms. Unless you take steps now to increase your staff's morale, your company can quickly head for disaster.

TELL YOUR STAFF WHEN YOU NOTICE FRIENDLY CUSTOMER SERVICE, WHEN THEY GO THE EXTRA MILE, WHEN THEY WORK THE WEEKEND OR WORK OVERTIME ON A PROJECT.

If you want to create a high-performance team that drives your organization forward, you need to enhance your company’s morale. When you do, you’ll have a highly productive team that takes initiative on projects, treats clients like royalty, has pride in their work and genuinely wants the company to succeed. Only then can your organization excel no matter what the economic conditions, and ultimately increase the bottom line. The following ideas will help increase confidence, morale, productivity and profitability in your organization.

1. Be clear on what you can control.
You control how you relate to employees, and you have the power to improve relationships. You control how and what you communicate. You have control over learning to understand your employees and choosing to implement things that make a difference. You have control over your professional development and continuous learning. You have the power to make a significant improvement in morale and to create a healthy, synergistic work environment designed to inspire commitment and performance. So take action on what you control today.

2. Love the ones you’re with.
Appreciation is the number one motivator for employees. Notice and acknowledge employees’ successes, both small and large, verbally and publicly. By doing so, you will get more of the same. What you focus on expands, so focus on what is right and good. Tell your staff when you notice friendly customer service, when they go the extra mile, when they work the weekend or work overtime on a project. Give honest compliments. A thumbs-up sign, a pat on the back, a smile or a handwritten thank-you note can create connections. As Mark Twain said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

3. Go out of your way to make contact with your employees.
Learn more about them; find out how many children they have; ask about their hopes and dreams. Tell them you are on their side and want them to succeed. Encourage employees to care for, support and trust each other. Organize affordable day care, allow for flexibility and offer counseling or gym memberships. Creating a “family atmosphere” of love and support ignites high productivity and fierce loyalty. You will receive back even more than you give.

4. Listen up!
Relationships are about communication. The fastest way to improve them is to listen more and talk less. Use three magic words: “Tell me more.” Practice taking a step back and delaying your response to what you heard. Listen to their ideas, insights and opinions for improvements; they want to feel heard. Then implement as many of their ideas as possible. Ask for feedback and respond appropriately. They, too, will learn to be nondefensive and open to feedback. On a regular basis communicate your mission, vision and goals and the role your staff plays in them.

5. Create meaning, purpose and passion.
Everyone wants to feel passionate and enthusiastic about what they’re doing. Everyone wants to be part of something great. Everyone wants to feel important. Speak regularly about the significance of each employee’s contribution and the importance of the work. You have the power to create the condition where employees become enthusiastic and passionate, doing soul-satisfying work in a way that heals, empowers and profits.

Tess Marshall is a psychologist and author of the book Flying by the Seat of My Soul. Contact her through her website at www.tessmarshall.com, or by email at tessmarshall@tessmarshall.com

 


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