Open Book Management Style
Sharing information about contracts, sales, new clients, management objectives, company policies, employee personal data etc. ensures that the employees are as enthusiastic about the business as the management. Through this open book process you can gradually create a culture of participative management and ignite the creative endeavor of your work force. It involves making people an interested party to your strategic decisions, thus aligning them to your business objectives. Be as open as you can. It helps in building trust & motivates employees. Employee self-service portals are the tools available today to the management to practice this style.
Performance Linked Bonuses
Paying out bonuses or having any kind of variable compensation plan can be both an incentive and disillusionment, based on how it is administered and communicated. Bonus must be designed in such a way that people understand that there is no payout unless the company hits a certain level of profitability. Additional criteria could be the team's success and the individual's performance. Never pay out bonus without measuring performance, unless it is a statutory obligation.
360-Degree Performance Management Feedback System
This system, which solicits feedback from seniors (including the boss), peers and subordinates has been increasingly embraced as the best of all available methods for collecting performance feedback. Gone are the days of working hard to impress only one person, now the opinions of all matter, especially if you are in a leadership role (at any level). Every person in the team is responsible for giving relevant, positive and constructive feedback. Such systems also help in identifying leaders for higher-level positions in the organization. Senior managers could use this feed back for self-development.
Fair Evaluation System for Employees
Develop an evaluation system that clearly links individual performance to corporate business goals and priorities. Each employee should have well defined reporting relationships. Self-rating as a part of evaluation process empowers employees. Evaluation becomes fairer if it is based on the records of periodic counseling & achievements of the employee, tracked over the year. For higher objectivity, besides the immediate boss, each employee should be screened by the next higher-level (often called a Reviewer). Cross - functional feedback, if obtained by the immediate boss from another manager (for whom this employee's work is also important), will add to the fairness of the system. Relative ratings of all subordinates reporting to the same manager is another tool for fairness of evaluation. Normalization of evaluation is yet another dimension of improving fairness.
Adopt a systematic approach to ensure that knowledge management supports strategy. Store knowledge in databases to provide greater access to information posted either by the company or the employees on the knowledge portals of the company. When an employee returns after attending any competencies or skills development program, sharing essential knowledge with others could be made mandatory. Innovative ideas (implemented at the work place) are good to be posted on these knowledge sharing platforms. However, what to store & how to maintain a knowledge base requires deep thinking to avoid clutter.
Create profiles of top performers and make these visible though company intranet, display boards etc. It will encourage others to put in their best, thereby creating a competitive environment within the company. If a systems approach is followed to shortlist high performers, you can surely avoid disgruntlements.
Open House Discussions and Feedback Mechanism
Great organizations recognize, nurture and execute great ideas. Employees are the biggest source of ideas. The only thing that can stop great ideas flooding your organization is the lack of an appropriate mechanism to capture ideas. Open house discussions, employee-management meets, suggestion boxes and ideas capture tools such as Critical Incidents diaries are the building blocks that can help the Managers to identify & develop talent.
Merely recognizing talent does not work, you need to couple it with ceremonies where recognition is broadcast. Looking at the Dollar Check is often less significant than listening to the thunderous applause by colleagues in a public forum.
Delight Employees with the Unexpected
The last but not least way is to occasionally delight your employees with unexpected things that may come in the form of a reward, a gift or a well-done certificate. Reward not only the top performers but also a few others who are in need of motivation to exhibit their potential.
Does your company have innovate ways to master the "Happy Workplace"? We would love to hear from you.