1. Communicate every day. Schedule time at the start of your employees’ day or at set times throughout the day to talk to your team about priorities, the business, and their needs. Adopting a pre-shift meeting is one of the best business practices we see managers engaging in to promote effective communication. For these quick meetings to be effective, they should be interactive, energetic, and you need to check to make sure your employees are ready to perform. One of the most important questions to ask your team each day is, “What do you need from me to be successful today?”
2. Get in the operation and inspect what you expect from your team. Too many frontline managers are hidden in their office and stuck at their desks. Get out and observe your people in action—this will allow you to provide regular, balanced, fair, and immediate feedback that improves the performance of your team. Build on your regular feedback and provide monthly formal feedback to your immediate reports for about 15 minutes. Recap those informal conversations and during the one-on-one setting ask them, “What do you need from me to be more successful this month?” Don’t wait for a once-a-year performance review to talk to your employees about how they are doing and what you can do for them.
3. Show your people that you care for them beyond their employee status. Get to know your direct reports’ likes and dislikes and keep track of them so that you can use them for rewards or great conversations in the future.
4. Respect and recognize your people. Respect comes when you see your people—their strengths, their talents, their efforts, and the things they do well. Your employees want you to see them at their best. The key is to let them know that you appreciate them and are thankful that they are on your team.
5. Don’t be afraid to have tough conversations with those who don’t give a damn about the business or team. Don’t let someone who will distract, frustrate, or cause more work for others go unchecked so that they hurt the morale and productivity of the team. If they continue doing this, then make the tough decision to move them on. Remember, sometimes people make better customers than they do employees.