The relationship between employers and workers doesn’t have to be antagonistic or tense. When the workforce feels respected, business owners usually benefit in the long term.
It is true that various management philosophies can be successful under the right circumstances, while individual managers may prefer a certain style over the alternatives. However, there are some universal principles that hold true across the business spectrum and one of them concerns the link between employee satisfaction and productivity. Generally speaking, happy employees are more likely to perform at a high level consistently, thus positively impacting the revenue streams.
That’s why it may be worth discussing a few methods for maintaining good relations between the management and those who perform day-to-day duties. These ideas are not new, yet they are too often neglected – with serious consequences:
Fair and transparent reward system
Obviously, money is the primary motivator for any employee. Salaries and bonuses are the reason why people come to work, so it is very difficult to make underpaid workers very productive. Moreover, it is essential that financial rewards (as well as punishments) are distributed according to actual contributions and not some other factor. Playing favorites is the surest way to alienate a majority of workers and bring the company to the brink of a crisis. Bosses who are seen as fair can count on loyalty of their workers even when things are not going well, while those who enforce arbitrary justice may lose key contributors from the team and be forced to pay a premium to replace them.
Promotion from within
Some companies like to hire experienced managers to fill senior positions and bring external expertise into the building. This approach has its obvious advantages, although it may negatively impact the morale of long-time insiders who may have hoped to get their chance to shine. Seeds of discontent can grow quickly if ignored, so every important promotion needs to be handled very carefully. If a large percentage of the upper management was promoted from lower ranks, that sends a message that ability and dedication will be noticed and rewarded. In that kind of atmosphere, it won’t be a problem to add high level contributors from the outside when they are truly needed.
Motivational and team-building events
Breaking the weekly routine with a well-planned event is a great way to pump up the energy and stimulate your team intellectually and socially. It is ideal if the event takes place away from the office, since a fresh location can add a fun dimension and make participation feel less obligatory. Depending on what you want to achieve, the event could include work session mixed with relaxing activities (i.e. recreational sports, karaoke, visits to monuments and landmarks…) or it could be completely dedicated to building trust and understanding between the team members. This is also a fantastic opportunity to integrate new employees into the group and teach them some of the basic rules that govern company operations in practice.