As an employer, it is imperative that you create an atmosphere that enables your staff to reach their potential; the better your staff perform, the better it is for your business, after all. So, how can you help your staff to fulfill their potential?
The semantics of helping staff to perform well obviously vary according to their role within the company, and the way in which your company operates. However, after many years in business I've learnt there are a few fundamentals that do not change. Here are the fundamentals I find most important:
Listen - Why would your staff have ideas, be creative and provide ammunition to take your business forward if you don't listen to them. Allow your staff time to come to you with ideas or questions; you'll learn a lot about your business and might even discover an avenue you'd never thought of taking.
Give - By giving I don't mean physical or financial rewards. Rather, accept the principle of give and take. You may well be the boss, and your staff needs to respect that, however give and take is necessary to allow everyone in your business to flourish. Allowing staff to work flexible hours is an example here; at WinWeb.com my staff work from home, with flexibility and consideration for their families needs. In turn, I have happy staff members who perform at their best because they are not stressed or unhappy about what is happening at home.
Trust - Trust is fundamental in order to secure a productive work environment. What is often overlooked is that it is vital that employees trust their employer. By being trustworthy, as well as trusting others, allows employees to feel comfortable and grounded; reducing staff turnover and increasing productivity.
Challenge - It is vital to challenge your staff. Bored staff members can become dead weight in a business. Make your goals and vision clear and then allow your employees to exercise their creativity and authority in order to meet those goals.
Accountability - Accountability is crucial in order to enthuse and motivate staff members. Holding staff members accountable for their performance enhances their desire to achieve and meet goals or targets.
Recognition - All to easy it can become easy to reprimand staff that do not meet your expectations, but it is easy to forget to express recognition and gratitude to staff that meet, or exceed, your expectations.