Studies have suggested that rewards can narrow our focus, innovation, creativity, strategic thinking and problem-solving—the very things needed from a Social Age workforce. Higher pay doesn’t necessarily equal higher productivity. Self-storage owners should set their salary benchmark at or a little above market rate for individual functions. Even more important, they should ensure employees feel they’re being adequately compensated for the work they do, which can only be accomplished by speaking directly to them.
Currencies of Choice
Once your staff feels well paid, real productivity and engagement can be unlocked by tapping into their internal motivators or currencies of choice. What your staff really needs to be fulfilled and to “go the extra mile” is to:
- Work for someone they trust and respect in a company they support
- Be appreciated and have their voice and opinions respected
- Have a firm career path that allows them to grow and develop
- Realize their underlying motivators
- Be able to do what they do best every day
By understanding and acknowledging your team’s individual currencies of choice, you can help keep them engaged and decrease turnover. How do you recognize which currencies of choice will motivate them? By talking to them. Unfortunately, many owners don’t talk to their staff enough, and don’t know what to talk about or how to structure their conversations.
Communicate with FOCUS
FOCUS is an acronym that describes the best practices in leadership communication. Communication between staff and managers should revolve around:
- Feedback: Ensure your team is updated on company information, initiatives and new hires. Give praise when it’s due, and maintain an open door for questions, concerns or comments.
- Objectives: The heart of sterling performance management is structuring specific and measurable job objectives and holding staff accountable for achieving them.
- Career development: Many studies list career development as a main factor that determines whether employees stay with their current employer or seek a new position elsewhere.
- Underlying motivators: What does your staff need to go the extra mile, and how do they respond to motivational techniques and rewards?
- Strengths: According to management-consulting company Gallup Inc., those innate abilities that make them unique and good at what they do is the No. 1 predictor of success.
The process of changing the way you hire and manage your staff may appear daunting at first, but experience shows that by taking it step by step, you can make significant changes quickly. The result will be a lifetime of more engaged, productive and happier staff, as well as more free time, less stress and higher job satisfaction for yourself and your team.
Kim Seeling Smith is an international human-resources expert and author of the forthcoming book, “Mind Reading for Managers: 5 FOCUSed Conversations for Greater Employee Engagement and Productivity.” With her expansive knowledge of human-capital practices in today’s market, she helps companies build healthy work environments as well as increase employee engagement and productivity in our digitally connected, globally-oriented world. For more information, visit http://igniteglobal.com.