Happy employees are more productive and easier to retain long-term. As their leader you play an important role in keeping them satisfied with their work. Sometimes it is a simple statement or question that can make a big impact on employee morale. Geoffrey James reminds us of these simple acts in a recent Inc.
- “I need your help.” When your employees feel like they are a valued partner, they feel more invested in the company and in the operation.
- “What do you need from me?” Employees may have mixed feelings about asking for assistance – some might think they will look bad or needy. Leaders who ask up front provide an open invitation which encourages better communication.
- “I noticed what you did.” Mr. James writes, “Every day, your employees do a lot of "little" things that keep your company running smoothly and customers coming back.” Recognize these efforts from time to time.
- “Thank you.” Employees value appreciation more than you realize and it can be a big factor in motivation and productivity.
- “What would you like to do here?” Your company may have changed over the course of time and so may have your employees since hiring. Take time to discuss their skills and interests and evaluate against company needs.
- “What do you think?” Soliciting employee feedback and suggestions invests them in the operation and the company. Productivity and retention improve when employees feel like valued partners working towards a common goal versus robots performing a task.
- “I know you can do it.” Even the best and most skilled employees sometimes need encouragement to keep going. Of course, be weary of placing too much pressure on someone lacking skills for the task – instead offer training or a mentor so down the road they “can do it!”
So next time you are meeting with your team or supervising on the shop floor be sure to keep these simple phrases in mind.
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