Over the years I have found that an organisation will not build a good team without having an effective best practice development and communication policy that is understood and has ownership by all key stakeholders in the business.
Employees at every level of the business, skilled and unskilled need to feel a deep sense of belonging and that management sees them as the engine room of future success. There needs to be an acceptance that the company holds a future and purpose for every employee to succeed at whatever they do, and the programmes are in place to support this.
Management also must discipline themselves to operating to a policy of ‘Management by walking Around’ – speaking to and encouraging people every day. It helps to also be able to call people by their first names.
I had an extremely effective ‘Employee Care’ policy of communication without it being intrusive in any way:-
- If an employee was absent and hadn’t called in by 9am, the supervisor would call them and ask if everything was OK and if the company could do anything to help – They would also be told that they were missed.
- The same approach would be done when an employee returned to work – the supervisor would speak to them privately to ascertain if all was OK and if there was anything they needed assistance with
- Every employee was given a performance assessment on a quarterly basis where there would be frank and open two way discussion with a view to increasing/improving their skill base to multi-skill. When proficient at three (3) different jobs, these skills would be acknowledged and wage rates changed to reflect these improvements
The greatest failure of management today is one of communication where they seem to be completely tone-deaf and have no idea what is actually happening. It is only when things implode do they realise their style of management is sadly lacking.
As a leader in the company, a major responsibility of any manager/supervisor is to know what is going on within the business and to achieve this they must be seen as available and part of the team.
- Management by Walking around and have face-to-face contact with the team
- Find positive ways to converse with individuals by providing feedback on their work ethic/performance
- Be consistent in everything you do
- Have regular company wide ‘State of the Nation’ feedback meetings where you share company plans, changes etc.
- Lead by example and ensure you are constantly aware of maintaining a positive work atmosphere
- Look for any excuse to celebrate and reward employees financially without violating an award or creating a sweetheart deal
There is no doubt that any business which does not have an effective employee development/communication policy is bound to suffer serious consequences in the process of managing regular activities.