Creating great employees is like growing a plant or raising a child…you have to take care of them. Air, food, water, sunshine and space are the main requirements living organisms need to live. When you look at your employees, are you giving them all of their required items? Are you filling them up and supporting them on their paths or are you neglecting them?
Are they growing straight and tall, overrunning your garden or wilting to nothingness?
Building a team of superstars isn't difficult if you know how to engage, motivate and reward your employees in the right ways.
How To Create Superstar Employees
Plan For It
When you look at employee development, you have to have a plan. If you don't have a plan you won't see the results you want.
Sit down with a team (ideally one comprised from many areas of your business) and figure out where your employee development strategy sits today. What are the shortcomings, what is completely lacking and what is just fine?
Next, find out what motivates your staff – remember they're all individuals and think differently. Then, sit down and put it all together and hammer out a reasonable plan to engage with employees, motivate them, listen to them and help them grow.
This is a subject that could go on forever, so let's focus on 3 key areas: Development, Feedback, and Appreciation.
If you have under performing employees, who's to blame? If they don't have the knowledge, tools, and resources needed, how do they get them?
Sure, some employees aren't great and need to move on. But, give tools and the paths to success before you assume they aren't a fit.
What are the top 3 goals of your employees? When was the last time you talked about goals and goal-setting? How do you measure success or progress? Do you encourage your employees to only develop the skills you need or do you promote learning across the board?
Do you have those answers readily available? If not, you aren't alone.
Helping employees reach their full potential includes helping them set and achieve goals, offering training and tools, career paths and feedback.
Start with goal setting because it drives everything else. A regular goal session with every employee could be the catalyst to explode your business.
Tools & Training
If you know what employees value and strive for, it becomes easier to provide the tools and training necessary. Maybe they are focused on a residential building product specific certification. What access, tools, software and hardware do they need to meet that goal? Is it something you can provide in-house or help them to achieve? It could be buying books, installing software, assisting with testing fees, hiring tutors, etc.
If you stop looking at it as their sole responsibility, I am guessing you will find ways this would benefit your teams and company.
What training could you provide for customer service skills, product knowledge, sales development, etc? Think outside the box – it doesn't have to just be within your product mix, channel or niche. Are there complementary learning opportunities you could provide?
Schedule them frequently and don't always make employees use their free time to seek these goals.
Retaining current talent is a better use of time, energy, and resources than hiring someone new. Smart employers design and build career paths for something to work towards. In the process, you get cross-trained, flexible team members who have knowledge about many areas of your business. Win-Win!
Do you know what your employees think about management, policies and your company? Do they know what you think of their skills, knowledge, teamwork, ingenuity and general abilities?
If you say, “Yes, we pay them well and offer a lot of fun perks for success”, you are missing the mark. Feeling someone appreciates you is totally different than having it expressed directly. Don't assume anyone in your company just “knows” how you feel about them – good or bad.
Regularly scheduled feedback sessions are key to avoiding miscommunication, shoring up weak spots and driving growth. When you spot an issue, react quickly and provide the assistance employees need to correct. Maybe they take your help and change and maybe they won't. The key is, you have to provide it regardless of the outcome.
Also, learn how to take feedback and constructive criticism from employees. Foster an air of open communication and let them know you hear their concerns and are addressing them.
When you spot someone doing a good job, don't just let it slide. Thank them for their effort, commend them on their success and be vocal in singing their praises. Everyone wants to feel they are doing a good job. Again, don't assume they know.
Don't just focus on negatives or areas for improvement or you will be missing out. Employees need to feel appreciated.
If you focus on developing your employees through feedback, goal setting, and appreciation, you will have a happier, healthier teams engaged and excited to help your business continue to grow.