Homerun Nievera, Negosentro.com | Most employers have a well-defined protocol for hiring and on-boarding new employees. Unfortunately, continuing education, training, and team-building often falls by the wayside as daily operations take priority.
Approaching employee development as a monthly maintenance task for your business can help ensure that each member of your team is performing at their best. It can also help you fend off any HR issues and identify up-and-coming talent. Here are 5 things you should do each month.
1. Review Staff Performance
Do not wait until annual performance reviews come around to evaluate staff. Create a document that allows you to summarize staff performance, and fill it out every month for each employee. You will be able to document the employee’s ups and downs while they are fresh in your mind. This will make your annual review process much easier. It will also allow you to spot trends and issues in the short-term so that you can deal with them before they become larger problems. From an HR resolution standpoint, having documentation that supports a decision like promoting or terminating an employee is always helpful.
2. Practice Customer Service
It’s human nature to fall into habits as we get into the daily grind. Doing a customer service training refresher each month is a great way to keep your team focused on customer service and representing your business well. One way to approach this is to set a training schedule. Assign a topic to each month and make a checklist. Call a monthly staff meeting and cover the assigned customer service topic. Another way to approach this is to turn your customer service refresher into a book club. Assign a book to each month and have everyone read it on their own time, then come together and discuss at your meeting.
3. Solicit Ideas and Feedback
When employees feel that they are a valued part of the workplace, they are empowered to take more ownership of their role and be happier at work. Set up a system for accepting ideas and feedback, and have a monthly prompt for your employees to engage. Make it meaningful. Process negative feedback as opportunities for improvement and invite solutions. You will create a pressure valve for employees who need to vent, an opportunity to address issues head-on, and you might just get some great ideas for improving your business!
4. Follow Up
When you are completing performance reviews and soliciting feedback and ideas monthly, you will create a breadcrumb trail for follow-ups. If an employee was under-performing 8 weeks ago, how did they do last month? If you started implementing a new system, check in about fine-tuning after the first few weeks. If you made a change because of an employee’s feedback, ask them how it’s going. Very few things are “set it and forget it” in business management. Keep the channels open and circle back to make sure everything its going smoothly. At a minimum it will show your team that you care about the outcomes of the decisions you make.
5. Connect One-on-One
As bosses, we do not always have time to spend with each individual employee every day or week. But it’s pretty simple to get in some one-on-one time with each member of your team on a monthly basis. Just giving everyone a chance to spend some time with you builds rapport and shows that you do not play favorites. Invite an employee with you on a coffee break. Pull them in to shadow a meeting with a new client. Your staff will feel special when you give them your time and attention, and it will build trust and confidence that will make Tip #3 (Solicit Ideas and Feedback) even more effective.
Homerun Nievera is the publisher of Negosentro.com and WorldExecutivesDigest.com. He has interests in several tech and digital businesses as director and chief strategist.