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How to Get the Most Out of Your Employees

Are people or finances your company’s greatest asset? Some great business leaders would argue one, some the other, and a few might say “both.”

Whatever your viewpoint is, you want to make sure you get the most out of them, but there are many different opinions on that also.

Here’s our take on how to do that:

  • Hire only self-motivated employees. Don’t worry too much about motivating your employees. You should provide incentives for desirable behavior and standards for acceptable workplace behavior, but you shouldn’t have to motivate them. You might have to for periods of time, but if they clearly can’t motivate themselves consistently, then it’s time to try someone else.
  • Reward desirable behavior. Use a mix of financial incentives and recognition techniques such as verbal praise and paper awards. Remember, you get more of what you focus on, so spend most of your time focusing on reinforcing what employees do well.
  • Focus on what they do well and forget about the rest. If you focus on the problems an employee is causing, that’s acceptable up to a point because they need to know what doesn’t work well at your company. However, if you spend too much time focusing on what your employees don’t do well, you’ll get more of it. Learn to let the little things go, as long as they do most things right.
  • Compensate them well – You may be able to justify lower wages in your mind, but make sure you know market rates for the positions where you need employees. Then, ensure you pay above those rates.

    First, this will help you attract the most talented employees who know what type of salary they command and will stay at workplaces that reward them. Second, employees who know they are compensated at an above average rate will work much harder for you. In the long run, this also reduces turnover and hiring costs substantially.
  • Fire quickly if it’s not a good fit – If you have what you know is a good employee but things aren’t going well, try them out 1-2 different places in your company first. If you know you made the wrong hire shortly after beginning a new working relationship, fire quickly. Major problems don’t get better. If there’s wrinkles though, make sure you give it a little time to work out – there’s bumps in almost every relationship at the beginning.

Enjoy Better Productivity and a Healthier Bottom Line

It can be tempting to think you’ll make more money if you reduce salaries and cut every corner, but quite the opposite is true – the more you give, the more you get. Treat your employees well and (in most cases), they’ll treat you well. Ultimately, your profit margins will reflect your wise decision making.

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