Whether you're trying to improve productivity on your assembly line, in your materials handling operation or in your accounting department, there are a few things that you can do that transcend functional lines and apply to almost all individuals.
Empower - You hired people to do a job. Let them do it! Happy, productive employees have confidence and freedom backed up by employers that support that freedom, to find better ways to do things and yes, make mistakes. Empowering employees that are intelligent and hard working, while still maintaining operating parameters or "rules", will result in employees that will make significant impacts on your operations.
Inclusiveness - You'll be surprised with the input you'll get if you ask. Much like a golf scramble works. In more foursomes none could shoot even par for the course, but combined, four 15 handicappers can shoot below par. Why is this and how is this possible? It's simple, you're taking the best of each person on each shot. Now imagine all that latent potential in your employees. Are you utilizing it?
Appreciate - The words "thanks" and "you're doing a great job" go a long way, but how often are they heard? Like many relationships, time can do damage the gentlemen and ladies we once were. So make a point to appreciate your employee's efforts and inputs. Mix it up, have pizza parties, send cards, make announcements, but be sure it's sincere. Employees can smell smoke a mile away.
Each one of your employees has a lot of potential. It's up to us to find it and put it to work for the productivity and profitability of our companies. And the best managers know how to do it and get the most out of each and every one of them. Good luck, and thanks for reading!