Ask, don’t tell
People love it when they are given agency. That extra freedom goes a long way to boost their performance. Research shows that employees who are given more control, try harder to bring in results. When implementing this in business scenarios, it’s important to ensure that supervisors allow their subordinates to have the freedom to choose – this means consulting them before assigning them and establishing a bottom-up flow of information so that their opinions and preferences are valued. This increases ownership within the employees, which motivates them to put in extra work to bring about positive results.
While traditional incentive structures involving performance bonuses must stay in place, adding a somewhat inconsistent layer to it, in addition to routine quarterly or annual bonuses, is very effective. Surprises are pleasant, and surprising rewards even more so. These unexpected rewards positively affect the morale of employees, which in turn positively contributes to improving their mental health. This ultimately increases the productivity of the employees. These rewards don’t always need to pop up in the form of monetary benefits; sometimes they could be as simple and inexpensive as being appreciated in front of the bosses.
Reduce feedback cycles
There’s a lot to be proud of when employees are thorough in completing whatever task they’ve been assigned, however, it’s not always a good idea to give feedback only after the task is already completed. That makes it difficult for employees to rethink the whole thing and start over, specifically because of the time and energy invested on it to make it perfect. Smart companies today optimise feedback cycles to create a culture where the feedback model is iterative and incremental. Which means, the bigger project is divided into shorter actionable deliverables. In this way, ideas and progress can be validated and de-validated as early as possible and hence, vetted and improved significantly before completion.
Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.