Do you really know how well your employees are handling their jobs?

It is important, from a motivation point of view, to get to know your employees on a personal basis.

Of course, it is just as important to get to know each employee (if it is a small company) on a business basis. How are they getting along in the job?

And it is not a matter of asking: “How’s the job going?”

If you ask that, then you may get a list of complaints or you may just get a non-committal reply such as: “It’s all going fine.”

In some ways, it is better to get the complaints because then you have a chance to do something about them or at least show that you care.

It is just like good customer service — you really need to hear from customers who aren’t happy so that you can correct whatever that’s wrong.

Too many customers don’t say anything to you and just moan to other people.

Does that sound like any of your team?

I have a friend, Brian, who is a general manager for a small construction company.

He always seems to have a high turnover of staff, particularly, the people who handle the administrative work in the office.

One day he told me: “I had to get rid of another girl today; totally useless and wasn’t doing the job properly.”

I asked him about how he hired people and about their initial and ongoing training.

He replied: “When they start on day one, I put them with Susan. She’s been here for years and she knows the ropes. Susan supervises them, keeps them right and lets me know if they haven’t worked out.”

“But who’s their manager?” I asked him.

“I am,” he said.

My next question was: “Do you ever check to see if they understand the job?”

Yes, said Brian, adding: “I ask them how they’re doing and they usually say, ‘Fine.’”

My analysis of this situation is this: Susan tells the new employee, “Do this, do that. When a customer phones, fill in the form, and if there’s a problem, just deal with it.”

Of course, what Brian needs to do is spend more time with the new employee; not hours and hours, but just enough to really find out if the person knows the job.

Then he needs to coach him or arrange training in any area of concern. But of course, he won’t do that.

You can imagine what Brian is paying in recruitment costs, over and above the hassle of interviewing, starting new people and then terminating some of them.

Spending a bit more time with them could reduce his costs and his stress.

You need to know how your team members are handling the job, so you need to ask the right questions.

Here are some examples:

•   What challenges are you facing at present? (Avoid using the word “problems”)

•   How can I help you do your job better?

•   Do you see any challenges coming up for us?

•   What figures do you have in relation to your target?

•   I liked the way you handled that difficult customer this morning. Is there a recurrent issue that tends to anger customers?

•   That was a good suggestion you made about the reporting system. What other suggestions do you have?

Spending some quality time on a regular basis with each employee will help you achieve your objectives, make your life easier and boost your business.

Article by Alan Fairweather, “The Motivation Doctor”. He is an international business speaker, successful author and sales growth expert. For details, visit: Article source: