Even as you read this, rest assured there’s one common refrain running through the mind of every HR manager across every conceivable industry and workplace – be it engineering, BPO, IT, construction, healthcare, accounts or anything in between. And it’s this: How do I keep my workforce engaged? How do I ensure I’m getting the best out of these bunch of professionals whom I have handpicked myself? How do I channelize their cumulative energy and talent? How do I make sure they are happy?
Well, here are some ideas that are bound to help.
A pat on the back.
If there’s one thing everyone responds positively to – no matter what the industry, hierarchy or role – its appreciation. It always feels good to know that one’s contribution to the team’s success has been taken note of. Indeed, being in charge of the ‘manpower’, as it were, it becomes incumbent upon you to give credit where it’s due. But remember that whether it’s a loud ‘Thank you’ in front of the entire team or a quite pat on the back in private, the gesture must be both timely (neither too late nor premature, that is) and heart-felt.
Trust your players
Remember, you’ve put in a great deal of time and resources – not to mention money – in getting the right people on board. What you need to do now is give them their space – without which, in fact, they’ll never be able to give their best, and show you what they are really capable of. Which means refraining from micro-managing (which, quite apart from being a productivity pothole, can be offensive at a personal level as well!) and trusting them with the responsibility to deliver – like the true professionals you know they are.
While you shouldn’t micro-manage, you DO need to be around. There’s no need to hold elaborate meetings (in fact, a lot of the time that can be a waste of time), but a friendly nudge once in a while asking them how things are going, whether they are facing any difficulties and similar one-on-one’s go a long way. They not only keep you posted on what’s happening, but assure your workers that their priorities are the company’s priority too, and that there’s someone to taken care of them.
Don’t shy from being you are
Communication is key. Be yourself when dealing with your team members. And that doesn’t just mean being as forthright in your interactions and calling a spade a spade (which, of course, is vital because it helps clarify your stance, pre-empts confusion and gets everyone on the same page), but stepping outside your boundaries if you need to. Your honesty is bound to generate goodwill and spread good vibes, and nothing gets a team going faster.