The following article has been adapted from our content partners Grow The Bench. Click here to learn more about Grow The Bench.

By Neal Glatt

I have a theory about employees that goes like this: When you hire an employee, you are buying their time from 9a-5p, but how much energy they give your company must be earned.  Here’s how to get more energy from your employees:

1. Focus on Their Strengths

Everyone operates at least a little bit differently.  Great managers understand that an individualized approach is required and learn what makes each employee unique.  There is a massive difference between behaviors, the natural way in which we process ideas, the way we get things done, the way we relate to other people, and the skills we employ to be successful.  While skills can be taught, behaviors are innate.  So, managers need to learn the behaviors that employees bring and arrange job responsibilities  them to leverage natural strengths.

2. Show Appreciation

People work harder when they receive appreciation.  It’s the difference between having to do a task and wanting to exceed expectations.  I’m fortunate to spend time with many business owners who brag to me about their great employees.  But whenever this happens, I can’t help but think how unimportant it is for me to hear this praise and how excited the employee would be to hear it from the manager instead.  A text message, email, handwritten note, or even a high five are all simple, free ways to show appreciation to employees; but these need to be happening at least once a week to be effective.

3. Develop, Develop, Develop

The number one item employees seek in a job is a developmental opportunity.  In today’s hyper-competitive job market, getting employees to work harder requires meeting the needs they want the most.  How much harder do employees work when they strongly agree they’ve had the chance to learn and grow?  Companies report, on average, 10% higher profitability when they are in the top 25% of this metric than in the bottom 25%.  Clearly, the bottom line starts with employees’ opinions of their work.

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