How To Get The Best Out Of Each Team Member

by Wasim Ismail on January 13, 2011

Most of us have worked for someone in the past or are currently working for someone. One thing for shore that really motivates employees is rewards, and incentives that are put out by your managers. I can recall, when I won a trip to Singapore and Malaysia in my sales job due to my consistent top performance. This really worked well for me and for my management, as I got a FREE 5 star holiday, and recognition, and on the other hand, my management were also pleased, as my performance improved further when I got back from my trip, as I wanted to go again, and I know it was achievable by being top of my game.

The other day I had an email asking, “how can the management encourage their employees to get the best out of them?”

I guess this is something many would experience, as at times it can be difficult on how to get the best out of your employees, and how to improve performance and mainly productivity of your organization. Do you ever feel that your employees are working for you not fully heartedly, and their mind and soul is actually somewhere else, or do you feel that your team members are not happy with something, and they don't seem very interested in doing the day job.

So how can an employer get the best out of their employees and team members?

Building a good team

When building a team and expanding out to hire employees, it's all about hiring the best people, and skillful people that will be right for your organization. This goes down to the communication the management has with their staff, and getting to know the people that work in your organization early as possible. In a small office this may be quite simple as there will only be a hand full of people and more or less everyone gets along with everyone. So to get to know your team maybe quite straight forward and building a good working relationship will be a piece of cake.

If you're in management that takes interviews for your company, your overall structure of the interview should be to hire the right candidate that will be suitable for the task, a candidate that you can work with, and a candidate that will adopt into your company and team. By getting the right team member for your organization, will save you a lot of time, and more or less will improve your workflow and productivity of everyone else in the team. Sometimes a good candidate may not necessary mean the one with the best skills and best CV, but it can also be judged on whether or not they fit into our working ethics, can they adapt into our business and can the business work with them and mold them to get the best out of the candidate and the business.

Competitive Atmosphere

Building an atmosphere in your team and organization that is competitive works very well for the company, as every team member wants to be the best and wants to produce the best results. The team member next-door wants to prove that they are the best at their job, and so does the other members in the team. The management putting out competitions for the staff can achieve this. Competitions that would interest your staff, not necessary the management, but as long as the front line staff are interested in the incentive, they will want to work for it. Hence getting to know your team in the point above plays a big part in getting the best out of your employees.

Now the incentives can be anything from big to small, you can have daily, weekly and yearly incentives for your team to work for. You should also mention your incentives and competitions out load to your staff early as possible so that they can set their mind on their goal and work towards this. Make sure everyone in the office knows that there is a competition, and there’s something in it for everyone.

Once you have set out your incentive and competition, as a management you need to work with each of your team members to help them understand and show them how this prize is achievable and can be won, by putting down a plan of action for each member of your team. Every member will have a different plan of action, based on their character, as some can perform quicker and faster then others and some will need extra help and need to be approached differently so that they can understand the incentive. As long as they all have the right mindset that the incentive is achievable and the price is something worthwhile going for, you will have a winning formula, and will get the best of out of that particular employee, also they will see that you as a leader is showing interest in your team members, and its easier to work for someone that has interest in what you do.

Encouraging & Positive Environment

One of the best methods of getting the best out of someone that works for you is to encourage them, show them the light at the end of the tunnel, and make it easier for them to understand that it is possible. Just like in a sales environment the management is constantly encouraging their staff, at times it can look quite embarrassing, but it is necessary for the business and to bring in the numbers required.

In business its all about having a positive attitude, and if you as a leader will have positive vibe, and positive attitude this for sure will brush off on to the rest of your team. You can test this by, coming into the office and just sit at your desk without saying anything, and not being active and loud as you usually are, you will notice that your team members will also feel lazy and in a more relaxed and lethargic, which at the end of the day will have an impact on your bottom line.

I find the best way to encourage my team is to listen to them, and show them that their comments and feedback counts and plays an important part in the company, everyone likes to have their own share of the cake, and to be felt important as they are contributing towards the companies success.

Recognition And Reward

Whenever you get a chance, try you reward your team, as your being the leader will have to go out of your way to reward your employees, whether its small or big, it’s the thought that counts, and this is what your employees will see. Give them recognition for their hard work, if they have just completed a project or done a job well, reward them, this can be in the form of bonus, vouchers, gifts, or even a free lunch or a night out. This at the same time works as an incentive for your team to work towards, as you can set a goal, and if your team hits or accomplishes the task, treat them with something.

Setting Goals

As part of getting the best out of your team members, you need to set goals and push them a bit, and best thing is to work with them to accomplish their goals, as they hit their targets you and your organization will meet your goals. It’s important that you specify deadlines with each of your team member, so that they are fully aware and know that they have a set time to meet this target, once you have worked out the targets, whether its monthly, quarterly or yearly, make an action plan for each team member, breaking down their target so it looks more achievable and even realistic to them, showing them how they can easily achieve this. Even if this means breaking it down to a daily number.

As part of the action plan you would also give them tasks and give them updates on a weekly basis on how they are performing and what tasks they need to do, so that they achieve their target. As you give them their weekly reports, go over how they performed last week and based on this you can assist them and assign them tasks for this week so that they can perform better and overcome the obstacles that they encountered last week.

So once you have set the goals for your team members show them how they can achieve this goal, and work with them to accomplish these targets, overall at the end of the day its your targets.

Ideas for incentives

Daily Incentives: Something small like

  • Vouchers
  • Bottle of wine
  • Chocolates
  • Something edible

Weakley Incentives:

  • Pizzas on Friday
  • Complimentary hotel for the weekend
  • Half day off work
  • Certificates of achievements

Monthly Incentives

  • Cash prize (everyone loves cash prizes)
  • Nice Gift – Watches, rings, …etc
  • Fully paid weekend trip
  • Team building trip, sporting activities, fun days…etc

Yearly Incentives

  • Free holiday aboard
  • Pay rise
  • Cash Bonus
  • Extra days annual leave

The rewards need to be something that will be appealing to your team, work closely with your staff, and listen to their needs, you will never fall short of incentives to rearward them with, and get the best out of each and every one in your organization.

(Image courtesy of  EvelynGiggles’ photostream under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 generic license.)

Thank You For Reading

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