It can be a rather difficult task to re-energize employees. As a supervisor, you may notice dramatic shifts in employee behavior, such as:
- Decrease in work performance
- Forlornness, or aloof disposition
- Reluctance to interact with other coworkers
All of these signs are troubling for every party involved, as employees are the heart of many thriving industries. Each worker is an essential forefront representative of their company, as they often interact directly with customers and are likely to relate to the target audience.
For nonunion companies especially, these factors have the potential to backfire. Life problems affect everyone, and you want to maintain relatability while holding yourself accountable. As a result, workplace energy levels and company production levels may be impacted.
For example, an employee is injured on the job. It’s serious enough to be sent home. This employee begins to worry, as they don’t have paid leave but their bills are due. They return to work eventually, but the time off was a loss of on-the-clock hours. The employee is now stressed, unsure of how they will make up for the time.
As you can imagine, a few emotions may derive from this hypothetical. According to the AIS (American Institute of Stress), one-fifth of the main causes of stress in the workplace attributes to juggling work with personal lives. Stress is chained to many negative emotions, including anger.
Because of the pressure to perform their duties, there is a possibility that these emotions transfer to other workers whose workspace is nearby.
Ways to Re-Energize Employees
The workplace is often a place of formality and professionalism. Especially if they are required to work together or are familiar.
Understandably, being under supervision is an added stressor. It is important for management to intercept conflict in the workplace by being in tune with their employees. Open communication, great incentives, and practical work ethic goals are effective ways to getting your team back on track and increase team energy.
Of course, it’s up to individuals to handle their own problems, but several statistics acknowledge the number one stress in many people's lives to stem from work tasks, upper management, and relationships with coworkers.
Cultivate a Flexible Schedule
The biggest percentage reported by the AIS is the 46 percent related to workload. The way a manager distributes tasks can be deeply impactful, as a constant heavy demand from work is associated with severe health issues.
As reported by the AIS, “...the perception of having little to no control but lots of demands have been demonstrated to be associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension, and other disorders.
Regardless of ranking, about one-third of a person’s life is spent at work. That’s 90,000 hours, according to Gettysburg.edu. Being considerate of your team’s mental state by delegating tasks equally. Especially when making a point of it, it will be appreciated. Hiring part-timers or freelancers is a great way to do so.
Think of the company’s tomorrow, since the objective is to have well-rested employees ready and focused on the tasks ahead. It’s not as easy as it seems. Maybe being busy came short notice? Knowing employee strengths and weaknesses, so how can you get yourself closer to identifying each of their qualities?
Prioritize Employee Meetings
The quickest way to discover what’s holding back your employees is to establish open communication. Entreprenuer.com believes that “do your interview with an employee during an energy drop, or when you have a blank spot in the schedule.” This may prove to be difficult, but if accomplished, can be highly rewarding. The following methods include:
- Scheduling lunch with team members
- Utilizing the “walk-and-talk" method
- Taking the 6-3-5 approach
Smaller businesses are better able to perform these methods, as they likely work alongside employees in a smaller establishment.
This encourages better service with customers and, instead of letting go of staff, establishes a deeper understanding. A willingness to understand soothes the fear of being let go, which leaves an impression on all staff; ultimately saving time finding and retraining new employees.
Create a Reward System
Reward systems are time-tested strategies and work with most age groups, even pets. Creating a point system with valuable incentives promotes employee energy.
Re-energize employees with appreciation rewards. Visibility of said reward is crucial: you want staff members to see each other’s progress. The rewards must be desirable and can come in many forms: promotion, bonus, or extra work benefits. Of course, reaching these goals should be correlated with the company goals.
You can establish checkpoints for larger rewards, make it annual or weekly, and even promote healthy work habits in the process. The bar for reward must be grand, enough to gain satisfaction from its turnout. Remember to be practical, and above all, maintain consistency. An established reward (preferably a single incentive, for time’s sake), fosters friendly competition.
Offer Praise and Encouragement
Being acknowledged for one's accomplishments makes the worker feel valued. It provides a different tone. Especially if their work requires the intimidating task of meeting quotas for deadlines.
This aligns well with the reward system. Point out accomplishments and be sure to make it a big deal. Other workers are soon to follow, especially if they already feel assured that they have a competent boss.
Be the Embodiment of Company Goals
Randstad USA statistics also mentions a large percentage who feel as though they can do a better job than their managers. A shocking 25 percent.
Untrue or not, it does speak to the saying, “the fish rots from the head down.” The biggest challenge would be to manage oneself. As the lead, you are in charge of juggling productivity with work ethic. But how would you know if you’re succeeding? Ask yourself:
- Am I projecting the best version of myself for my team?
- Is this projection conducive to company goals?
- Do staff meetings inspire employee energy?
- Does my team seem agitated when I address them?
- Do I seem intimidating?
These methods can change your posture, a great mechanism for breaking down barriers because the perspective is shifted. It makes you “another employee,” working alongside your team. It signifies to them that every member is a vital cog in the machine and, at the end of the day, working towards a common goal.
Lastly, actively participating in upcoming employee birthdays, scheduling work dinners, and hosting annuals like bring-your-pet-to-work day and family day offers a break from monotony. A relaxed atmosphere is cultivated, which will re-energize employees.
Familiarizing yourself with their family members also opens various pathways of communication. Simple small talk inquiring about an employee’s family member takes the edge off the apparent difference in authority. This is simply done through a physical calendar set strategically for all to see.
Undoubtedly, it is a difficult balancing act to be strict for the sake of the company and show genuine concern. It is, however, the key to better employee energy and thus a greater potential to boost company productivity.