Employees go to work with the intention of doing a good job, but managers are often the reason they don’t!
We sometimes put employees in situations where they don’t have the resources to perform well. They become frustrated when they are not given the necessary tools and training to complete job assignments.
Great managers have learned to support employees by advocating for them and removing the barriers that hinder productivity.
They do this by asking one important question.
This one question can reveal the obstacles that employees face that only the manager can help to overcome.
So what is this one question?
How Can I Help You?
This question demonstrates the manager’s commitment to serving the employee and their intent to help resolve issues.
This question also reveals employee challenges and issues that only a manager can help fix.
When employees answer this question, they reveal work issues that need to be resolved and often answer the question with this response.
You can help me with:
1. Broken Or Outdated Equipment
Employees need to have functioning equipment to perform job responsibilities, and nothing slows worker productivity like faulty equipment.
Employees who spend more time troubleshooting faulty equipment than doing their job indicate that it’s time to address the problem.
For example, I was working off of an old computer that was just slow.
As soon as I invested in a new computer, I was amazed at how much time was saved simply because it had a faster processor.
Tip: Budget dollars to update and replace equipment before it becomes an emergency.
2. Inadequate Training
Learning how to do a job takes time.
There is always a learning curve when employees are performing new tasks or using new computer software.
Identify training needs before an employee is hired and incorporate this learning into the employee orientation checklist.
Provide training as soon as an employee is hired to help expedite the learning process.
There are many affordable training solutions with flexible access.
Find the training your employees need and get them trained as soon as they begin work.
You may be surprised at the time is saved when they properly learn how to do the job.
For instance, if your business uses specialty software, help the employee get off to a great start by having them go through software tutorials.
3. Resolve Conflict
No one likes conflict, but unfortunately, when you get more than one person in a room, the chances of conflict rise significantly.
Conflict within a workgroup affects morale and causes undue stress, but it also slows workers’ productivity.
Managers should be cognizant of conflict in the workplace and available to help resolve interpersonal issues that hinder productivity.
For example, if two employees in the same work area are battling over resources, their focus will be on winning the battle rather than doing their job.
These kinds of conflicts need to be resolved quickly. Use your influence and intervene to help resolve issues.
4. Unmet Customer Expectations
Employee on the front-line take the brunt of angry customers.
Dealing with unsatisfied customers can be a source of great stress for employees – particularly if they don’t have the training or resources to correct the situation.
For example, If there is a delay in processing customer orders due to faulty equipment, make sure you have a service recovery process to help the employee try to make things right with the customer.
5. Broken Processes
Good processes are how work is done with efficiency.
Internal work processes need to be efficient to allow for productivity and good systems to support a positive customer experience.
Managers should partner with employees to understand internal work processes and identify ways to create operational efficiency.
6. Work-space Configuration
Employees spend eight plus hours a day at work. Comfort in their works-pace is crucial to productivity.
Managers need to provide employees with a work-space that is comfortable and fosters productivity.
No one wants to sit on a broken chair or in a poorly designed workspace.
If employees are complaining about arm pain, back pain, or leg pain.
Spend the time and money to have work areas evaluated for ergonomics.
Often a few minor changes can improve worker productivity – not to mention minimize workman’s compensation issues.
7. Barriers to Completing Goals
Not many things are more frustrating to an employee is running into a barrier that keeps them from getting the job done.
There are often internal barriers that hinder the completion of the employee’s goals.
The manager’s responsibility is to help employees identify what those barriers are and assist with removing them.
For instance, employees often depend on other departments to get the job done. Pay attention to your internal customers to ensure a cohesive work environment.
8. Meeting Deadlines
Meeting deadlines is how goals are accomplished.
But, when an employee has a problem with meeting a deadline they often need help with pushing a task to completion.
A manager may need to determine if it is a training issue, a productivity issue, or perhaps a conflict issue with another employee.
Regardless, it is the manager’s responsibility to help the employees get the job done – on time.
9. Prioritize Job Responsibilities
Prioritization and time management is something that we all deal with.
Managers should be available to help employees figure out what tasks are the most important and how to prioritize conflicting job responsibilities.
Organizations are only as strong as the people they employ.
And employees are only as productive as the person who manages them.
Managers that can focus on their employees and ask this one question, how can I help you? This simple question will make employees feel valued and facilitate the process of getting things done!
When is the last time you asked your employees, how can I help you?