How to Encourage and Challenge Employees

April 03, 2013
How to Encourage and Challenge Employees
Humans, by nature, want to be appreciated and will go to great lengths to achieve that outcome. Giving your employee recognition and the opportunity to excel will pay off both in their performance and your bottom line. To do so, however, will require a designated investment of your time (and patience!) but the rewards can be significant and long-lasting.
 
It is a known fact that lack of control over one’s work environment is major source of workplace stress. Conversely, when workers feel control and ownership, most will excel. Watch for opportunities to allow the people under your supervision to take ownership of a challenge. Then, be prepared to stand back and give them the time and space to work through it. That often means allowing failure even though you know it will create an added burden to yourself, the organization, or both.
 
Be willing to provide just enough support to keep the person from bailing out, but not so much that you rescue them from the discomfort of the situation. It is that discomfort that creates the subsequent feeling of accomplishment when victory comes. Then, be sure to give employee recognition, both privately and publicly. This doesn’t have to be in the form of a monetary reward, for most people, the recognition and respect of their fellow workers and management is the most important thing. Two words of warning:
 
1. Flattery is a poor excuse for appreciation. Over time, workers will sense the difference so be sure your appreciation is genuine; and
 
2. Once you’ve given over a responsibility to someone, don’t remove it unless by mutual agreement and usually, with a replacement of something better or of a higher responsibility level.
 
Taking this approach with your workers is truly an investment. It will take time to see results and we all know that time is money. However, if done sincerely, this small change in how you manage your workers can completely change your business or organization. It can produce the springboard from which your business launches to new heights.
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