One of the major challenges facing nearly all businesses today is getting and retaining competent employees who are capable of working as a team to deliver the goals and aspirations of an organisation.
Although employers are quick to blame the education system and changing society values for this state of affairs, business owners and managers can go a long way in helping employees meet expectations.
A major determinant of performance in enterprises and organisations is the relationship between employees and managers or business owners.
As an entrepreneur or business manager, how you relate with your team, how you treat and lead them is perhaps more important to results than their qualifications or abilities. The attitude of the employees towards their job and managers is more important than their competency.
Employees can only deliver their best if they work in an organisation and belong to a team that they are proud to be part of and work in an environment that is conducive for productivity. Any small misunderstanding is enough to cause imbalance and throw the entire organisation into chaos.
Edward Deming, rightly considered by many to be the father of the Total Quality Management Movement, cites seven psychological conditions that are absolutely essential for employees to produce the best services in an organisation.
It is imperative for any business owner to create an environment that nurtures those conditions.
The employee must feel personally inspired, have energy and enthusiasm, display personal creativity, feel respected, feel loyal to the organisation, feel part of a team and have an effective leader. These are the psychological conditions that form the axis upon which total quality management rotates.
Now the biggest challenge is these seven conditions can neither be imposed on the employees by the employer nor be bought with money.
You can hire the best employees but you cannot force them to be inspired, creative, loyal or enthusiastic in their work.
However, you can influence them by the way you treat them as the employer or manager. As a human being, every employee craves to be respected. You show respect to others by appreciating their values and diversity without condemning them.
Employees need to feel cared for and treated as people, and not money making instruments. They must feel secure within the organisation. This is what buys loyalty and commitment to the goals of the organisation.
As a member of a team, everyone needs to be listened to and be heard. Active consultation and communication as well as addressing employees’ concerns and fears are signs of an effective leader.
Micromanaging employees is a sign of mistrust and poor leadership. Employees need to feel trusted to perform tasks without over supervision. This challenges them to go an extra mile and prove themselves by doing their best.
Empowering employees through continuous training and fair remuneration commensurate with the profitability of an enterprise is one of the best way of motivating and retaining top talents.
This article was first published in The Business Daily on June 4, 2019.