Perhaps you are on the other side as an employee, and you are wondering if you could make a great manager — or you simply think your manager has a thing or two to learn. While your manager might not take kindly to you attacking their leadership style, you may be able to respectfully suggest a few ways to improve the work environment or help them understand how to foster your productivity.
Here are four things that too many managers don’t know about their employees, and how learning about these things can help benefit managers.
1). More can be done to create a better work environment
If you want to have loyal and motivated employees, then creating a good work environment is extremely important. According to Chron, the work environment can affect employee’s productivity as well as the work climate; you can start the improvement process by looking for broken or outdated equipment or workstations, meeting with employees and asking for feedback, building community, and encouraging team-building.
If managers put themselves out there and they show their employees that they value their feedback, and you want them to be comfortable at work, you will help foster employee loyalty. Also, work can still be fun even though it needs to be productive; team lunches or friendly competitions can help employees bond.
2). Employees learn in different ways
Depending on how many people managers have on their teams, they may not be able to individually meet with each employee to try to determine how they learn best. However, if you are able to incorporate multiple different learning styles into the workplace, your employees will certainly appreciate it. They may also learn more and get more done. If you include training for employees who need visual, auditory, kinesthetic or tactile learning, they may each be able to learn in a different way (but they will be the most effective if given a chance to learn in the way that suits them best).
Teachers often attempt to accommodate all the learning styles, and this can be done at work as well. Try using different methods to reach several different employees. Use maps, flow charts, and written lists for visual learners; converse with and question employees who learn from auditory methods; and use role play or encourage note-taking for kinesthetic or tactile learners. You also might find that assigning projects that fit with employees’ learning styles helps as well, so that they can be the most effective with their own projects.
3). Employees have productive times
Maximizing productivity is an important step for meeting deadlines and achieving goals at work. Knowing when employees are the most productive can help you to understand your employees better, but also have a more efficient work environment. Understanding when people are the most productive requires that you know your employees. Some people are morning people, and some are not. If you watch your employees (and you can also ask them), you may discover that certain employees are the most productive in the morning while others do better later in the day.
Ways to capitalize on this include altering employee schedules in order to have your employees at work during their most productive times, or assigning more important projects during specific times during the day or week. You can also ask your employees to determine their most productive times for you, and make changes based on what they learn. According to Accountemps, Tuesday seems to be the most productive day of the week, and 4-6 p.m. seems to be the least productive part of the day.
4). Employees are wasting time at work
Even the best employees occasionally waste time at work, and chances are, your employees are no exception. Employees waste time by chatting with their co-workers, but they also waste time in more subtle ways. Perhaps you have filters set up so that your employees can’t use their work computers for Twitter or Facebook, but there’s a good chance they are using their personal phones to make up for that. According to Salary.com’s Wasting Time At Work Survey, 89% of respondents said they wasted time at work.
It would be impossible to remove all time-wasting at work, but you can certainly cut it down. First, make sure that employees cannot access online sites that are unrelated to work. In addition, make sure your employees have enough interesting things to do and feel challenged, come down hard on office gossip or relentless chatting, and give employees clear expectations and stand by them.
The more you know about your employees, the better your chances of fostering an inviting and productive work environment. While you may not have regular meetings with each employee, you can encourage your employees by being open to communication, appealing to multiple learning styles, understanding employees’ productivity levels, and expecting a respectful and productive work environment.
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