According to some estimates, about half of all the company’s output is made by only a small fraction of its workforce. The bigger your company gets, the smaller the fraction, seeing as how the number of your company’s over-achievers grows linearly, while the number of slackers grows exponentially. At the end of the day, you get to the situation in which about 50 percent of all that gets done in your company is done by a number equal to the square root of all your company’s employees. Here are five things you can do to make this better.
1. Test first, read resumes later
One of the greatest, yet surprisingly overlooked hiring tips is reading the resumes after you’ve already finished the first round of testing. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is that you don’t want to enter the testing stages with any prejudices. Resumes lie and tend to present the person who wrote them as much more competent and professional than they really are. Furthermore, this will make you assume that some of the worst-scoring participants only had a bad day, seeing as how they are ‘usually’ much more efficient. To make the long story short, put actions before words.
2. Make sure to monitor and reassign their progress
While it might be bad to micro-manage every single thing your employees are doing, it is always good to at least know which tasks are they currently on. Luckily, with the right digital tool, this can be done in a non-intrusive manner, one that doesn’t seem meddling or ever indicate the lack of trust in their judgment and abilities. By relying on a tracking computer activities platform, you can see the task of each member, followed by the app they are currently using and the work-group they currently belong to. In this way, if things aren’t getting done, you will at least have a basic clue about what went wrong.
3. Tell them what you want
Not sharing your company goals with your employees and expecting them to just see the bigger picture is both insulting and unrealistic. Several millennia ago, the Chinese general and philosopher Sun Tzu said that if the order is unclear, the fault is not with soldiers but with the commander. Therefore, if you want to make sure that everything is under control, you need to find a way to communicate with your employees in a clear and unambiguous manner.
4. Give them some feedback
Another thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that no one in your employ has telepathic abilities and isn’t a mind reader. If you see that they aren’t doing a good job, make sure to tell them. How are you going to improve otherwise? The only alternative to this is just firing them without giving them a second chance and bringing in someone else. However, you need to remember the numbers from the introduction in order to realize what the odds of bringing in someone more productive are.
Still, simply telling them that they are underperforming might crush their morale. Start by focusing on the positive. Open your statement by telling them that you see and recognize all that they are doing right, then, suggest an area that might need some improvement. As for the over-achievers at your company, don’t just automatically assume they know you’re happy with their effort. Tell them!
5. Provide them with an intrinsic motivation
At the end of the day, your employees need to know what they are working towards. In a situation where prospects of raise, advancement or even praise are low, a very small percentage of your staff will feel motivated to improve their performance. However, if you make it abundantly clear how the success of a project directly benefits them, and if they see that they can get that promotion or a raise they wanted or, at very least, that they will get the credit for the success of the project (something they will later be able to use in their resume) they might just give it their best.
At the end of the day, Ancient Romans used to say that it takes a leader who is a lion to make the recruits into lions, as well. What this means is that your company isn’t likely to improve its efficiency on its own. This is a project in which you need to be an active agent.
About The Author:
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is a coauthor on several websites and regular contributor to BizzMark Blog. Currently, he is working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies.