There aren’t many happier moments for a person than when they score their first big job. The opportunity to use the skills they have learned, and to pay off some of the debt that knowledge set them back, are two activities most people who are in this position relish. However, you can’t expect these opportunities to keep your employees around forever... you need to meet (and sometimes manage) their other expectations of the workplace.
What Your Employees Will Expect of You
While you are providing your employees with a means of supporting themselves, your employees are providing you with the means to keep your doors open. As such, it is only fair that you live up to a few of their reasonable expectations of you. For instance:
In any business, there are certain tasks that need to be completed, often simultaneously and in conjunction to other, equally critical tasks. Are your employees provided the time and tools to meet their responsibilities? Are their processes filled with bottlenecks and inefficiencies? Do your employees find themselves revisiting the same tasks over and over?
As an employer, it is only fair that you put forth your best efforts to streamline the processes that your employees are responsible for completing. One effective way to do so is to leverage automation wherever possible. Look at it this way: the less time your employees need to spend repeating work they’ve already done, or working on repetitive tasks that are frankly making poor use of their abilities, the more time they can spend on something more productive. Freeing your employees of a responsibility by automating it makes better use of their time, and keeps them more engaged in their work.
Speaking of their work, your employees will only be able to accomplish so much in a given amount of time. If your employees are working for an eight-hour workday, expecting them to complete ten hours' worth of responsibilities in that time won’t do any good for them, or your business. Frankly, you’ll only wind up disappointed, and your staff will be frustrated.
Utilizing a resource management solution will help to prevent this unpleasant situation from cropping up. Ideally, it will also offer timesheet-generation capabilities, ensuring that the appropriate time is being spent on each task - and that time is being spent productively, as it should be.
Reasonable Requirements and Deadlines
Remember how we discussed your processes above? This consideration ties back to them in a very important way. You need to consider how these processes will influence the timeframe required to complete them. Referring back to keeping workloads manageable, again, you can’t provide an employee with eight hours to complete ten hours of tasks - this will only overwhelm them (especially if they’re racing to catch up with notifications alerting them to their next responsibility).
Again, leveraging a reliable resource management solution will help you and your staff to more effectively budget the time available to spend. Furthermore, it will help you and your employees to more accurately track the actual time necessary to perform certain tasks, allowing you to make more appropriate estimates and deadlines for your staff to live up to in the future.
Support from Management
One of the most important expectations your staff should have is the expectation that you will be there to support them in their efforts. If one of your staff members isn’t performing as expected, assist them in accomplishing what you want them to. This will reinforce that they are capable of more - and if they aren’t going to meet a deadline, communicate with them. Allowing your employees some input into what a task will take will help to set accomplishable business goals - and shows that you respect the experience that your employees have to offer.
What Happens If These Expectations Aren’t Met
Of course, failing to live up to your employees’ expectations can have some serious ramifications across your workforce. Worse, these ramifications will likely have negative impacts on your business and its operations. Again, there are examples:
Decreased Morale and Respect
Think of it this way… would you be excited to go to a job where you were repeatedly set up for failure by being expected to accomplish too much in too little time? Would you feel particularly courteous toward the individual or organization that repeatedly set you up for this failure? Not likely… and the same can be said of your employees. I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine too many people look forward to that kind of work environment.
Lost Motivation and Work Quality
Referring to the above example, we’ve already touched on the dwindling motivation that many workers experience. Now, I want you to imagine how that may affect the quality of work that these unmotivated, underappreciated employees put out. In the short term, you’re likely to see corners cut and simple errors made. In the long term, your staff may just phone it in completely, impacting anything you may try to accomplish in the future.
Missed Deadlines and Out of Control Costs
The thing about the impossible is that it isn’t possible to accomplish. Sounds pretty obvious, but many organizations will assign their employees tasks with project deadlines that are impossible to meet. At least, impossible to meet without putting in overtime, which impacts the costs you anticipated for a given project.
Avoiding this is as simple as listening to your employees, both in the feedback that they provide and in the evidence demonstrated, once again, in your resource management solution. If you repeatedly see exceeded budgets and excessively long work hours, you need to reconsider the resources you set aside for each project.
Increased Absenteeism and Turnover
Stress can have a very real impact on an individual’s health. While stress can come from all avenues of life, adding stress to the work environment can lead to increased employee absences - either from legitimate illness or the infamous “mental health day”. The thing is, the more often team members call in sick, the more pressure that is put on the rest of the team.
Worse yet, if this stress doesn’t let up, many employees will resort to resignation, in both the emotional and the literal sense. High staff turnover rates make it hard to find new talent, which hurts you in the first place, but it also encourages other staff members to leave. As a result, you’re shorthanded, and without the experience and skill your former staff had built up.
Hopefully, it is now obvious why it is crucial that you meet the expectations of your staff. JensenIT can lend a hand by providing superior technical support and services, making some of their other stresses less severe.
We can also offer other solutions that will help you better balance the needs of your staff with the needs of your business as a whole. For more information, reach out to us at (847) 803-0044.