The foundation of any business is the workforce it employs. As time passes on, employees will fall into a groove where they know the best and most efficient way to get things done. However, this routine most likely becomes so inherent that employees get in the zone and forget to implement the basics. A quick refresher course can help reinvigorate a team improving both productivity and quality. This can be done with fun activities and policy changes where no one will be the wiser that they are back in school. There is no better time than summer to have some fun and get your team perfecting some important skills.
Here are some basic skills to focus on:
When we were children, the most important lesson we learned was to flex our creative muscles. Somewhere along the way, most people begin to think there is no place for creativity and work. Creative ideas lead to solutions and new opportunities. It is important to remind employees of this fact and welcome their creativity. A good way to do this is to have group activities that flex their creative muscles. This can be done with any activity that gets your employees doing something out of the usual. A great place to start is to have company paint nights where afterwards the paintings are placed all around the workplace. Not only will this get your employees thinking outside the box, they will also feel pride and confidence that their artwork will be placed on the walls for everyone to see.
Your employees are likely already team players. They work well with their coworkers and will likely be confused when you suggest it is time to improve things. However, the more departments your company has, the more likely it is the amount of division between your staff exists. Departments work well with each other because they do so on a regular basis. The issues with teamwork arise when two or more different departments need to work together on a project. Communication can easily break down when say your legal department and engineering department need to coordinate. Because of this, it is incredibly important to remind your employees that we are all playing for the same team. A great way to do this is to have weekly trivia games where teams are composed of individuals from all different departments. This way each person will contribute their unique perspective to the questions and meet others they would not otherwise have met face to face. The activity can help point out the similarities the departments have rather than focusing on their differences. This change in outlook will help both the employees and the company unite at the same time.
It is unlikely that you are micromanaging every aspect of your business. This means you are not aware of all the issues arising in the workplace. Employees may feel as if their voices are not important and are afraid to express their concerns. They may feel that going to speak with a manager will lead to termination or that nothing will be done even if they do. However, employees can easily identify any problems on the ground floor. By informing upper management of concerns, they can allow the company to squash it before it becomes a major headache. Implementing an Open Door policy and applying some of the suggestions your employees recommend is a great way to take advantage of the benefit. Your employees will be more confident in addressing issues and will be more likely to do so in the future. This can help build confidence in your team while benefiting the company in the long run.
These are simple skills that your employees already know. By empowering your employees to actually use these skills with simple steps, you can easily reinvigorate the workplace while having fun doing it.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.