As a business owner, you will almost certainly come to the point of needing to manage staff — assuming you aren’t there already. Though many businesses are born as single-person startups in the solopreneur-spirit, growth invariably brings with it the need for outsourcing of responsibilities.
Of course, managing staff is not necessarily a straightforward and pain-free matter. Unscrupulous and demotivated workers can cost you money, and excessive gossip and office politics can sour the entire nature of your business and reduce teamwork and joint productivity.
Among the many requirements of good team management is the ability to safeguard the wellbeing and productivity of your staff. Here are a few strategy suggestions for doing just that.
Allow them a degree of flexibility in terms of working hours and physical location
It’s a fairly well-agreed-upon idea that employees tend to work better, and be more invested in the overall success and wellbeing of the company at large, when they feel that they are being treated with a degree of respect and consideration by their employers.
The traditional office dynamic of arriving at a certain time each day, and clocking off at a certain time each afternoon, is still very much in place as a rule, but is starting to soften significantly, with many businesses allowing for flexible hours and remote working arrangements.
Incentivise your customers to work more diligently, and enjoy their work more, by allowing them a degree of flexibility over their time and location. This could mean allowing them to clock off for the day whenever they want, as long as they meet their targets. Or it could mean allowing them to work from home for a couple of days a week.
Sponsor them for training and educational courses and programs
Investing in your employees via sending or sponsoring them for training and certifications not only helps to improve their professional portfolio, thereby enhancing their well-being, but it also makes them more directly useful for you, as their employer — that is, assuming you run your business in such a way that people don’t want to flee as soon as they have other options available.
It might be that you’re flush with resources and can sign some of your senior people up for an online MBA, or it might be that you see the benefit in putting the whole office through first aid training.
In any event, supporting your staff with this kind of training can be a great way of boosting wellbeing and productivity.
Find ways to grant your staff a greater sense of meaning during the day — such as by empowering them to work on some of their own projects, some of the time
In recent times, many high-flying companies have famously opted to give their staff a greater sense of meaning and freedom during the day, by allocating a certain amount of their working time to personal projects.
This has been particularly prevalent in the tech industry, with Google famously having followed such a policy. The upshot of doing this is that your staff feel that their own creative impulses are better represented by the company, and that they have more breathing room to do meaningful — not just obligatory — work.