9 Tips for Staff Management and Motivation
In our recent “Best Book Publishing Companies to Work For” study (Book Business, October 2007), flexible work schedules ranked among the top reasons people rated their companies as great places to work. Here are some do’s and don’ts that can help your company or department be a little more flexible:
5. Don’t be a “clock watcher.” This may seem ridiculous to some of us, but it is, unfortunately, not a rare occurrence. I have worked for and know many others who have worked for supervisors who monitor their staff’s every move, from what time they come in to how long their lunch breaks are. (Notice the “have worked”—past tense.) Unless your staff is paid hourly (in which case you should have more formal methods of monitoring their time), let staff manage their own time. “Clock watching” creates an untrusting, disrespectful environment that builds staff resentment. Let hard-working staff take long lunches when they need to, and let them come in late or leave early when they are just “burned out.”
6. Create a flexible work schedule. Some companies have limited sick, vacation and personal time, and personal events can eat up time off like a parasite. Can you allow your employees to work from home periodically (such as when appliances are being delivered), so they can save their sick and vacation time? If your company doesn’t allow this, consider trying to get permission for your department or discussing the benefits of this kind of policy companywide.
7. Include your staff in decisions that affect the department, from what technology they will be using to new hires. Nothing breeds discontent like excluding your staff.
8. Share as much big-picture information as you can. Let them know when the company or their relevant products are doing well and when they are not.