Set an example. Employees model their behavior on managers’ daily decisions. Managers should also acknowledge their own mistakes.
Encourage teamwork. Management should reinforce a team atmosphere with every position contributing to the company’s success. Loretta White, office manager for Peter Pagenstecher’s Kensington, Md., company, Pagenstecher Group, points out that employees can’t accomplish the company’s goals as individuals: “We have to work together to get more work and to keep our clients happy,” she says.
Schedule regular employee reviews. White stresses the importance of annual reviews to help employees focus on their goals and objectives and how they fit with the company’s overall plans. A review format where the manager and the employee both complete an evaluation and review it together makes employees feel involved in the process. Pagenstecher likes to set one or two yearly goals for employees. Also consider allowing employees to anonymously review management and its effectiveness.
Hold monthly company meetings. Regular meetings help keep the lines of communication open. Department meetings should be held more often to avoid misunderstandings.
Embrace growth. Employees and managers should be open to change. Take the initiative to learn new skills and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Have fun. Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Host company activities, including charity work. These morale-boosters, White says, are important in tough times.
—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.
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