Maximum employee involvement in generating improvement ideas begins with creating a positive, encouraging workplace culture and environment. Creating this kind of supportive environment begins with how management and supervisors prepare new employees. There is a knack to supervising and coaching new employees so that they contribute their very best. Here are five tips:
- Clearly define performance standards. Make sure the new employee has a job description. Consider signing an agreement with the employee which clearly lists the employee's work standards. This shows new employees that you are serious about their job performance.
- Communicate constantly. Communicating with employees is especially important with new employees. They crave constant feedback, and you're the one who can tell them if they are meeting the standards for their position. This also applies to communicating your expectations for the new employee to get involved in coming up with new ideas to cut costs and save money. If this is an important activity in your workplace you must communicate this to new employees, with sufficient details so that they know exactly what is expected and how they are to be involved.
- Point out mistakes. We all make mistakes. Especially when we learn a new task. The sooner you point out mistakes to new employees, the easier it is for them to correct the mistakes. Here's a technique that's good when correcting new employees' mistakes. Own up to your own mistakes. Example: "When I first ran this pump, I left a valve open and caused a flood in the basement!" The new employee is put at ease because you, as the boss, can admit to your own bloopers.
- Praise good performance. Humans value words of praise when they learn tasks. That's why it's important to praise new employees as they master tasks. They not only feel like they're beginning to fit in, but your appreciation acts as a foundation for long-term employment at your firm. Make a public show of your appreciation at a staff meeting, a special luncheon or an informal gathering at the break table. Publicly pat the new employee on the back. Tell co-workers how well the new employee has performed a task.
- Include the new employee as "one of the team." New employees won't belong to your team until they plug into your organization's social network. Ask new employees about their hobbies. Go the extra mile to match the employee with co-workers who have similar interests. And be sure to include him or her in impromptu gatherings of staff at a restaurant for lunch or at the bar for an after work drink.
There's a connection between involving your employees in their own achievement, and the achievement and success of your business or organization. And one important strategy to increase your employees' involvement in their own achievement is to switch from a traditional employee evaluation to an employee achievement plan.