As CEO’s, we’ve all been there right? One day, your employees are performing at their peak, and then the next, they won’t even lift a finger. You don’t want to bring down the hammer, because that might decrease productivity and encourage rebellion.
So, seriously, what do you do?
No one likes to be the bad guy, but at the same time, you’re paying them for a reason. You need them to do their part, or else your company won’t be successful. No success equals no fun, and we all want to have fun right? That’s the whole reason why we got into entrepreneurship in the first place. Productivity yields results, bottom line.
So what to do you do when you see Marcia in HR spending 7 hours a day surfing around Facebook? Or when Bob in Marketing takes a two hour lunch and hopes no one will notice?
Here is a five step strategy that helps increase productivity, and snaps your employees out of their zombie work habits.
- Don’t be a jerk.
You’re a big, bad CEO. You started your company from the ground floor up, and you just won’t put up with laziness. As a matter of fact, in the good old days, employees worked for every last penny, and walked five miles in the snow to get to work – right? Wrong. If you really want employees to be loyal to you and your company, get on their level. Remember, before you broke away from corporate culture, you probably had moments of extreme laziness. You messed up. We’re all human, so stay relatable.
- Take time for personal conversation.
Take at least 15 minutes every day, and get to know your employees on a personal level. Ask them about their family, their interests outside of work, their future aspirations. When you show people you actually care, they want to return the favor. No one cares about your business more than you, but if you show interest in their lives, they’ll show more interest in your company goals.
- Reward hardworking employees.
This is the oldest advice in the book, but seriously, it works. If you offer incentives, people will naturally want to work harder. And don’t do something stupid, like one free vacation day for every huge milestone. People want something more. Set lofty goals, but in doing that, offer lofty rewards. I’m talking a cash incentive, or even a brand new iPhone.
- Have weekly meetings to build awareness.
What defines success or productivity to you might not necessarily be the same for someone else. Have monthly, or even weekly meetings to review your goals, assign tasks, and make sure everyone is on the same page. Then, there really is no excuse – lack of productivity will be publicly brought to light.
- Stock up on snacks.
You think I’m kidding, don’t you? Don’t believe me? Give it a try. See, if you have a fully stocked snack cupboard in the office, it immediately lightens the mood. Studies prove that relaxed work atmospheres lead to increased rates of productivity. People produce their best work when they feel 100% comfortable. No one wants to have a scary boss man hovering over their shoulder for eight hours a day. On top of that, how productive are you when your stomach is screaming with hunger pains?
Above all else, remember: we’re all human. We will make mistakes. We will have off days. We will get cranky, on each others’ nerves, and not always be at our best. Take this into consideration, and avoid bringing down the gauntlet whenever possible. Take time to truly understand each individual’s circumstance, and find a viable solution.