If you want happy employees, then help them do their jobs faster and better. Here's how.
When you think about your team would you describe them as happy, content, and fulfilled with their work? Or, have you got more issues than a magazine rack with grumpy, discontent, unsatisfied people in your ranks? What can you do to ensure the former?
In my 12 years of leading my online marketing company, VerticalResponse, I've learned that a huge factor in my team's satisfaction, is the ability to get sh*& done! There I've said it. Yes, the simple ability to get what they need done goes a long way baby.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I work for my team and one of my biggest goals is to remove obstacles for them so they can keep moving forward and meet their deadlines. There's nothing worse than getting held up by some bureaucratic approval process, or having to do a "dog and pony" show for simple things. No one enjoys being in perpetual hurry up and wait mode. Trust me, we all know how frustrating that is!
Tip: Empower your team and keep approvals and other blockers to a minimum. One simple question you can ask to help identify potential roadblocks is, "What can I do to help you get your stuff done?" Then work together to remove them proactively. Be aware of your team's deadlines and prioritize accordingly. For example, if one of my content marketers is on a tight deadline with an editor, I'll look at the piece ASAP so she gets it done.
Give 'Em What They Need
Take a look around at the tools and resources your team uses in their day-to-day. Is there something newer that could help them do it more efficiently? Are they doing things manually that could be automated? Are they doing tasks that may even be totally unnecessary because that's they way "it's always been done"? That last one always kills me.
Here's an example, a few years ago a member of our team needed a new version of the software he was using for graphic design. Our Head of IT at the time made him make a federal case (okay, I'm embellishing just a bit, but it was pretty crazy) to get the software update. How do you think this made the designer feel? He was just trying to get his job done better and faster. Now a few more years have passed and he just got an email from our current Head of IT informing him that a new update was available and that we got him the very latest version with all the bells and whistles, not just for him, but for his entire team. Big difference eh?
Tip: Make sure everyone at your company is on the lookout for affordable and practical ways you can get things done more efficiently. Whether it's that new software, or instituting a meeting-free day, see what will make the most impact on your team and their ability to get things done.
So, what can you do to help your team get stuff done? Whether you remove obstacles, automate a manual process, or just get out of their way, helping them get stuff done may be the best thing you ever do.
JANINE POPICK is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse (a Deluxe company), a leading provider of self-service email and event marketing, online surveys, social media, and direct mail solutions. The company was ranked No. 2,802 on the 2012 Inc. 5000. @janinepopick