As a manager or business owner, it is important to have a thorough understanding of your workforce so that you can lead and manage your team more effectively. You should go much further than just knowing their name and what they do, you should get to know what motivates them. It includes knowing how an employee operates on both an individual scale and as a whole team. In this article, we will discuss five steps you can take to better understand your workforce.
Conduct Regular Surveys
One effective way to gain insight into your workforce is to conduct employee surveys. These surveys can cover a range of topics such as job satisfaction, communication, workload, and career development. It can contain niche questions related just to your business or more general questions. You can use the results of these surveys to identify areas where your employees are struggling or areas where they feel fulfilled and engaged. Addressing these issues can help to improve overall employee satisfaction and productivity.
There are plenty of survey apps out there, both free and paid for, that you can use for these purposes. You can offer these surveys out to your team anonymously to be completed in their own time. You may find that employees are more honest in these surveys if they know it won’t be tracked back to them. Consider what sort of questions you want to ask on these surveys before you send them out. You could even ask your team what sort of questions they would like to see, and what areas they would like to address.
Have One-On-One Meetings
Regular one-on-one meetings between managers and employees can also be a valuable tool for understanding your workforce. You can use this time to discuss work-related issues and just get to know your employees on a more personal level. Ask questions about their hobbies, interests, and goals. This can help you better understand what motivates them and how you can help them reach their full potential.
The main thing you have to think about is how regular will these one-on-one meetings be. Some managers like to do this weekly, while some managers may do it monthly. In some cases, some teams will only do quarterly or even annual check-ups! Each business and team is different, so you should think about what could potentially work for your business.
Utilise Word Cloud Software
You will be able to better understand your workforce by using word cloud software. This intuitive software can be useful during meetings to find out what everyone is thinking about the current topic. This can help with engagement and can help create a sense of excitement at the same time, too! Most word-cloud software works by using a polling system.
Everyone can vote for certain buzzwords, which can then be displayed on the big screen during a meeting or a virtual meeting. Employees will also be able to use live word cloud polls to submit their own thoughts and feelings about a project, or the company as a whole. Word cloud polls can be sourced online from places such as Vevox.
Create A Culture Of Open Communication
Encourage open communication between employees and management by creating an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. This can be achieved by holding regular team meetings, soliciting feedback on projects, and being approachable and accessible as a manager. When employees feel heard and valued, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work.
There are many different ways you can have meetings. For remote businesses, this will come in the form of online virtual meetings, hosted on platforms such as Zoom or Skype. Remote businesses may need to work harder to create effective meetings, due to not being able to have them in-person. That’s why there is plenty of advice out there related to hosting more effective remote meetings. It is still possible to host the occasional in-person meeting for remote businesses, but these will need to be pre-arranged way ahead of time.
Monitor Performance Levels
Lastly, monitoring employee performance is essential to understanding your workforce. By tracking employee performance metrics such as productivity, quality of work, and attendance, you can identify areas where employees are excelling and areas where they may need additional support or training. Regular performance reviews are also an opportunity to discuss career goals and provide feedback on areas for improvement.
You should be in constant communication with your employees about their performance so that you can better work with them to improve. This refers to improving them as employees, as well as how they can help improve the business. You can utilise performance monitoring software to check how your team is doing and create plans for their improvement.