When summer comes around, it’s time for employees to joyfully make travel plans. For supervisors, it’s time to pull out their hair and clench their teeth.
Everyone agrees that vacations are essential for healthy, happy workers. Annual rest and rejuvenation also make for a more efficient worker.
But covering a staff member’s duties and keeping the workload moving smoothly can be difficult. Planning around employee vacations is an art form. Without proper preparation and guidelines, a rest period for one member of the staff can easily become a stress-filled week or two for his colleagues.
You can reduce the tension and keep the work flow humming by instituting a vacation policy. Three basic practices will reduce stress for those covering and reduce frustration for those trying to get certain dates off.
Do you want to
• increase job satisfaction?
• improve morale at all levels?
• reduce turnover among your staff?
An Employee of the Month program, well planned and carried out, can contribute substantially to all three. For companies all over the country, it is an effective motivator for the workforce.
Here are six basic steps that will result in a workable, beneficial program, all aspects of sound planning, good communication, open involvement of staff at every level, and lots of publicity for the program and the winners.
Zappos, the profitable company providing online shoppers with footwear and more, is a well run business you can learn from.
The proof it’s well run?
• It makes money. Lots of it.
• Staff enjoy the atmosphere.
• At all levels, employees talk about the camaraderie.
• Buyers love the customer service and keep coming back.
In a chaotic work environment, busy can be construed as proof of productivity. Eventually the bottom line will prove it just ain’t so. But meanwhile, managers with clenched jaws and a rata-tat-tat communication style will be effective at driving their employees crazy.
Here are the sure signs that something is amiss in your department’s management style.
Everything is important.
It probably is, but the good leaders choose and prioritize. Crazed supervisors, on the other hand, show how they value the importance of every piece of work that passes their desk by making each and every task equally urgent.
Hovering irritates staff and gives managers ulcers. But it’s a fine line. How do you make sure the work is being done right, and on time, without interjecting yourself into the workflow? The answer at several companies is to let employees take accountability, to empower them to assume ownership of their jobs.
This doesn’t just happen. Management must set up a culture that feeds this proprietary sense of responsibility. Successful businesses who use this approach use five strategies to build a culture that supports accountability.
One. Bring workers on board who fit in.