Employees reflect the culture of their workplace. If you expect high performance from your employees, create
a culture that inspires them to work to the best of their abilities. Start with these key principles:
- Communication. Effective, two-way, face-to-face communication is vital to letting employees know how
their performance contributes to the organization’s success. If they don’t understand how their day-to-day
activities affect profits or customer satisfaction, they won’t know what to focus on or why.
- Capability. Do employees have the knowledge and skills they need to do their jobs? Training in technical
skills may be necessary, but don’t forget other areas. “Soft” skills, such as communication and teamwork, are
just as important.
- Resources. Tools and equipment are important resources, of course, but don’t neglect other, less obvious
needs. The workplace environment itself is a resource, for example: Do workers have enough space and light
to perform their jobs? Do they have adequate contact with each other to share ideas and make group
decisions? The culture and atmosphere are also key: Do workers trust each other—and you? Do people work
as a team or jealously guard their turf? And don’t forget the most vital resource of all—time. Do employees
have the time they need to do their jobs?
- Motivation. Employees must want to do a good job. Money is an important factor, as long its connection to
performance is clear. But praise and recognition are powerful motivators as well; so are opportunities for
development and advancement. Every individual responds to different motivational stimuli, so be sensitive
to each person’s unique needs.