by Paul Ford
The workplace today is changing at a fast pace. Workforce infrastructure is very different from what we might have expected to see a decade ago. However, one thing remains a constant: the way that a team or workforce is managed will have a big impact on how strong it is and how productive its outcomes are. There are a number of key elements to consider if you’re looking to start building up the strength of your workforce.
Review the way that you manage
At the heart of this is communication. A strong workforce is built on robust communication and that starts with the management approach. A strong communicator has empathy and is emotionally intelligent, is able to work well with others, influence them and inspire. Self-awareness is also crucial, as is ensuring that you’re present and aware of the environment in the office and how your staff feel about it.
Get to know the people around you
Cohesion within a workforce requires 360 degree understanding of individual needs. How do those you work with like to communicate, for example, and what benefits and pain points do they feel their role has? Once you get to know people you’ll be uniquely placed to focus and optimise each person’s individual strengths to improve overall team performance.
Be flexible and inclusive
Rigid management styles can make people feel excluded while a flexible approach makes room for different personalities and allows you to adapt to changing events. Equally as important is ensuring that everyone you manage feels involved, especially when it comes to new ideas or change within the business.
Make sure everyone is communicating
Depending on the set up of your business this may mean increasing the volume of face-to-face time that people have in any working week. It may be beneficial to explore technology that could support more transparent and effective communication and to create an atmosphere of openness so that everyone feels okay to speak up.
Avoid restricting employees
Yes, every member of staff has probably been hired to fulfil a specific job description. However, many employees may go on to demonstrate new potential and expand out of initial capabilities. A strong workforce allows for expansion and innovation and doesn’t limit employees to only those tasks that are specified for an individual role.
Find ways to unite people
If you have your entire workforce in one building then there are some very simple ways to bring people together. You might want to consider regular meetings or discussions that give everyone the opportunity to contribute, or making the most of shared spaces by encouraging discussions and chats among those who are occupying them. For a business with a more dispersed workforce uniting people could be introducing more in-person meetings or communication with visuals, such as video calling.
Building up the strength of your workforce means getting to know those within it and then providing opportunities for communication and growth.