Do you know what how much productive time an office worker actually spends in an 8 hour work day?
Research suggests that in an eight-hour day, the average UK worker is only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes.
Other countries are not doing much better either. This issue is accompanied by a serious drop in motivation with younger generations that are entering the workforce. To solve this, we need to dig deeper in what the day of our team actually looks.
By getting to know your team, their work styles, and personalities, you are deepening their trust and respect towards the company and its culture. It might sound a bit trivial, but learning more about the members of your team can have a great impact on the overall performance.
Getting to know everyone on the team isn’t always easy, especially in a larger company.
How they react under pressure, how they deal with conflict, can they make their deadlines, are their prognosis typically optimistic or pessimistic – these are just a few things a manager should know about the members of his team in order to have a full grasp on how their employees operate.
This does not happen very often.
Why is that?
Mainly because organizations spend a lot of time trying to get closer to their clients, loosing from site that they should do the same for their employees. Companies are investing millions in building their customer engagement strategies, and the vast majority of managers know far more about them than they do about their own workforce.
And technology was making grate progress when it comes to analyzing all the ins and the outs of a companies relationship with their clients.
Today, about 70% to 90% of the buying process is done online, so we shouldn’t be surprised that customer relationship management and predictive customer analytics tools have become commonplace in the marketing, sales and services functions. It did not take long for the companies to realize that the buyer’s journey is the key to delivering a better brand experience to customers and beat their competitors.
Sadly, there was never the same level of attention to the employment journey or workforce experience. To do so, a company needs to understand how employees think and feel about their day-to-day working experiences while trying to figure out how to make it better.
Facilitating the right employee experience is, therefore, the only route to optimizing employee engagement. Here are some guidelines on how to prioritize your staff’s experience with all its critical importance.
- Spend time with your employees
Really. It sounds pretty banal, but it does miracles. A few hours a week dedicate to getting to know the process of the members of your team, not to control them, but to get the whole picture of their work experience. It will allow you to talk to them in their daily duties and most typical work-related situations and you will understand their daily processes, communication preferences, individual personalities, and team dynamics.
- Hold regular one-on-one meetings
As you might already know, every single one-on-one meeting is different than the other. And every single one is a perfect opportunity to find out what specific actions your employee needs from you. You can talk pure business, about upcoming projects or tasks, or you might use those to know a bit more about that specific employee. You can ask questions about how happy they are with their current duties and positions, how do they cope with praise or constructive criticism, what are they hobbies and favorite activities… This way, assessing the best way for your communication and liaison to move forward.
- Team buildings
Luckily enough, team buildings are now a routine praxis in many companies, no matter their size. Their only purpose is fostering team spirit and that itself is a bar of pure gold. However, you don’t have to wait for the official team building to do so. You can use any occasion to gather the team together. After hours drink, lunchtime or any time whatsoever is a great time to assemble your team and just chill with them.
In a relaxed atmosphere, with no deadlines pressure, your staff is more likely to open up and share. Take a close look and learn as much as you can about their social skills, for example, and get familiar with your employees.
- Conduct personality and work style tests
This is way easier than it sounds. These days, you can find many tests online and share it with your team from time to time. Not only these tests will help you get to know your team better, but actions like this will also help every employee individually to learn more about their own working, communication style or approach to conflict resolution.
- Use specialized tools
Today, managers can (and most definitely should) use any sort of system that can centralize all the work that their team is doing. There are many software products on the market who make communication or planning or data management easier.
However, to truly be able to use all this data it has to be connected.
Messages linked to due dates, due dates linked to documents and documents linked to a certain deal that the company is working on. Once you integrate all the collaborative data in one place, it can then be analyzed just like all the other historical data. This info base can then help you stay ahead of your competition.
The key things that this can improve are:
- investing in employees will be less of a risk – all their decisions will be stored and used for future guidance
- delegation will be automatized and optimized based on workload and capabilities
- human errors will be reduced with the guidance of a software
- employees will have more time to focus on building strategies since there will be less operational work
If we’re looking into the future of work and employee satisfaction, we shouldn’t miss all that technology has to offer. A world without operational work, where the focus is on creativity and strategy, is something that should be strived to.