Thursday 2 February 2023

How Managers Can Encourage Their Employees to Work Harder

 **Collaborative Post**

AD: As a manager, it can sometimes be frustrating to manage a team that just isn’t pulling its weight. It can reflect badly on the team and as the manager, you take responsibility for that team which can be very annoying. When they don’t do what you want them to do, it makes life much more challenging for you and stifles your career. But it may mean that what you are doing isn't working within the team and you perhaps need to look at other ways to ensure the team works well and efficiently.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to nudge them in the right direction without forcing them. You need them to do good work but, at the same time, you don’t want them to go elsewhere where the grass is greener.

So what can you do to improve performance? Here are some ideas you might want to try. 

Let Them Manage Their Own Time

While it might sound like a bad idea, letting employees manage their own time is an excellent way to help them become more productive. People don’t like it when managers breathe down their necks, telling them what they should do, and by when. Instead, they prefer to get on with things according to their internal schedule. 

That might sound like you’re asking for trouble but try it. Take a step back from micromanaging everyone and see how they perform. The results may surprise you. 

Let Them Choose Their Rewards

You don’t want to write employees a blank check: that doesn’t make business sense. But letting them choose their own employee rewards does. 

Fortunately, businesses today can access multiple services providing these kinds of rewards. You just set up a scheme and then let your employees choose the perks they want, from cheaper grocery shopping to gym memberships. 

Give Them Targeted Goals

Another option is to give team members fun, targeted goals they can aspire to. The idea here isn’t to stress out employees but rather to gamify their work. 

This approach seems to work in large companies. Airlines, for instance, that tell pilots they are monitoring fuel consumption and provide them with targets seem to see the biggest reductions in cost, something that makes them more competitive.

You could concoct similar incentives in your firm, getting employees to use less, or make better use of what they have. Lowering costs can improve your productivity tremendously. 

Use Behavioural Science

Another option is to use behavioural science to get the results you want. You can take cues from the academic literature to change the way employees see work and make them more productive. 

For instance, you might: 

  • Introduce new social norms in the office that encourages people to switch off from work in the evenings

  • Designing your offices for innovation, and using office space to encourage collaboration and partnerships

  • Using the value of heuristic insights to design workflows instead of relying on precise theories or calculations, giving workers more freedom to develop their own systems

Discourage Multitasking

Lastly, managers should actively discourage multitasking. Team members should not regularly switch between tasks. Instead, they should stay with a problem until they solve it before moving on to the next challenge. 

For instance,
employees working on spreadsheets should not transition over to replying to emails halfway through. Instead, they should block their time religiously, helping them get more done. 


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