Are You Asking Your Employees For Too Much?

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Today’s post is provided by our friends at OpenSesame and was written by Hannah Huston.

When hiring a new employee, most people ask themselves the question “is this candidate the right fit for my company?” but have you ever wondered whether your company is the right fit for your current employees? Are you asking too much of the people you’ve already deemed an appropriate fit for your company?

Sometimes strong performance results can lead to a development of unattainable expectations going forward, which will only stress out and frustrate your employees and cause you disappointment when they can’t reach those lofty goals. To avoid this you need to remember a few key tactics to keep your employees motivated while pushing them to be their very best, all at the same time.

Overworked2Tactic 1: Create a Fun Company Culture

At OpenSesame we pride ourselves on the culture we have created. There are many aspects that go into the friendly and relaxed yet highly motivated work environment we have, one of which is the open workspace. The open work environment allows for us to mingle, work in different areas, and not feel contained to a certain location. Another aspect that has affected our company culture is that we have both a book club and a culture club that meet once a week. These clubs create an open space to discuss issues and ideas with coworkers and establish a common ground. Currently our whole company is reading StrengthFinders 2.0 and almost everyday you will be able to overhear a conversation about the book and what someone’s strengths are.

Tactic 2: Praise Success

When one of your employees has an especially good month, week, or even just a good day, acknowledgement goes a long way. That little extra pat on the back and verbal approval of a job well done can be the difference between continuing to work hard and prove themselves or slacking off because they don’t get any recognition when they do a good job. One of the ways we have implemented this reward system at OpenSesame is with a bell we ring whenever we make a big sale. The bell rings and the whole company stops what they are doing to listen to the announcement and praise whoever is being spotlighted. This is just one example of the numerous ways you can implement the reward system into your own company culture.

Tactic 3: Don’t Ask Your Employees to Do Something You Wouldn’t Do

This is one of the most important tactics to remember in order to avoid alienating your company leadership from your employees. There may be things you are asking your employees to do that you don’t like doing (such as cleaning out the company fridge) or that you aren’t very good at (like coding or sales), but if you begin to ask your employees to do everything you would not be willing or able to do yourself, you are crossing a line. If you start piling on unmanageable amounts of work every week, your employees are going to become stressed and upset, both with you for assigning the work and with themselves for not being able to complete it. Just because an employee goes above and beyond the normal expectations does not mean you should set that exceptionally good time as their standard. You may not even realize you’re doing this, but one way you can catch yourself is if you find yourself thinking ‘I would never do that’ or ‘I don’t know how they do it, I could never do that much work in one week.’ If your thinking is along those lines, chances are your employees are feeling that way too; so remember, praise them for doing well so they will want to do well again, but don’t push them past their breaking point.

Check out a few of these course if you need some help motivating your employees, helping coach them to achieve their full potential, or determining if your company is asking too much of your employees.

What did you think of these tactics? Do you have any others you would add? Let us know what you think by commenting below!

Looking for learning solutions?  Take a look at SilkRoad Learning!

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