While workforce management can seem glamorous at first sight, that is not always the case. Managing a diverse
group of professionals can take a toll on the strongest individual, mentally and physically, if he/she fails to
grow as a leader. The best way to do that is by motivating your employees to live up to and exceed their
potential as a team and as individuals.
This is based on fact. According to a survey
in Forbes, 2 out of 10 employees agree that their performance is
managed in a way that motivates them to exceed their professional goals. As a new manager, you need to think
outside the box to ensure your team can take on complex projects, clients, and company goals without
Here are some ways you can manage your team members to get this result:
Workforce Management Tip #1 – Be Respectful and Transparent With Your Team
Employees don’t leave companies – they leave managers. The fact is if your leadership style does not have
honesty, support, and respect as its foundation, it is broken. Besides ensuring projects are completed on time
and clients are kept informed of progress, you have to act as a mentor to your team as well.
When managers start to micromanage, they lose sight of the big picture. What most don’t realize is that they can
get a lot done. The short of it is if you are a good person to work for, your team will remain loyal. Plus, if
you are too busy, you can lose focus on your team and make them feel abandoned.
Here are some ways you can make yourself more amicable to them and motivate them:
- Just because you are busy all the time doesn’t mean you are being productive. Schedule your time in the
workplace smartly so you have more time for your team members.
- Adjust your body language. You may feel relaxed but your posture may be rigid and uninviting.
- Schedule performance meetings with each member of your team separately. This will show them that you are
concerned about their progress on a personal level.
- Avoid blaming one specific employee for failure. Make it clear that the whole team is in the loss together
and outline a solution.
Workforce Management Tip #2 – Offer Rewards
Your team members will remain in your team if they feel their efforts are appreciated. Just telling them that
they are doing a great job isn’t enough. Words are meaningless if the benefits and salaries do not reflect the
hard work they are putting in. An incentive program that rewards them automatically for reaching milestones is a
much better idea.
Managing workforce initiatives should be your job as well. If people know that they will be rewarded for a job
well done, they will be motivated to work harder and complete objectives.
Here are some great reward ideas that you can use to encourage participation and project ownership:
- Host a company cookout for teams who managed to realize organizational goals for a specific quarter.
- Take the team or employees who were able to distinguish themselves, out to lunch. But don’t discuss the
business too much during it. Take the time to get to know your team personally and how they are outside the
- Give employees certificates that honor their achievements and which they can display proudly on their
Workforce Management Tip #3- Allow Team Members To Lead
Allowing them to time off that they have the right to already will not do much to motivate your team. You need
to show them that their contributions and presence is valued. The best way to do that is by allowing them to
take the lead on certain projects.
This will do two things – it will encourage them to tap into hidden potential. Plus, it will take a load off you
at the same time. It will also motivate them to share new ideas that they may otherwise hesitate to
Some of the ways you can help employees take on leadership roles include the following:
- Encourage team members to emulate the leadership qualities you have by giving them independent tasks.
Instead of spelling out their jobs, just let them know expectations and goals. How they come to them should
be left to them.
- Allow them to struggle without stepping in. If someone is having a hard time figuring out an assigned
give them time to figure it out. They will learn faster that way and will not come running to you every time
they face an obstacle. Push them to figure out what they need to do. Don’t hand the answers to them.
- Take on a mentorship role rather than a leadership role to motivate your team members to take initiatives.
Advise them, but don’t force them to take it. Instead, encourage them to bring their ideas to the table.
Workforce Management Tip #4- Encourage Friendly Competition
Healthy competition is a great motivator. It creates a productive environment that brims with ideas that can be
used to meet company initiatives. Encourage employees to participate in competitions or challenges that may or
may not be tied to an organizational goal. It will allow new members to break the ice and enhance camaraderie
and team ownership at the same time.
Some ways you can encourage healthy competition in the workplace are as follows:
- Workplace competitions that have monetary rewards can get ugly even if your company ends up making bank
from it. It can lead to a disruptive and stressful work environment. Instead, give benefits as rewards, such
as a free family lunch.
- Balance the teams as much as possible. Do not place all of your top performers together. Choose team
members of different strengths for each team instead. That way, it will give stragglers a chance to learn
from their colleagues while competing. It will also make the work environment more amicable.
- Encourage employees to compete with themselves by trying to achieve their personal best. Rather than
focusing on beating others, they should work to improve their numbers and performance.
- Stay focused on the end goal. While it is great to see employees so excited to meet goals, make sure they
don’t forget about the main goal. Customer satisfaction is usually sacrificed if the numbers are
For example, if a call center team is asked to increase the number of resolutions they provide per call,
they may start to speed through them. So don’t be afraid to make adjustments where needed to avoid this.
Workforce Management Tip #5- Offer Food in the Workplace
Hungry employees are unproductive team members. How can you expect them to work at their full attention if their
blood sugar levels drop? If team members are too busy to take their lunch breaks, your job is to ensure they
Food-based perks can help you do that and make them happier at the same time. Supplying snacks to your team
members throughout the day will keep them fueled. The result? A decrease in delays and more chances of meeting
Some ways you can improve workforce management with food incentives are as follows:
- Make sure that the food that is provided is healthy. So rather than giving them say doughnuts, choose
healthy alternatives, such as fruits, yogurt cups, and granola bars.
- If healthy alternatives are not possible, place a vending machine in the break room. That way, employees
can grab a snack whenever they feel their energy depleting.
- Make sure every meeting has food on hand, especially those that can take hours. Besides doughnuts, you can
get bagels, a salad bar, and sandwiches. These are sustaining and will not get funky as time goes by.
- Make sure the break room or office kitchen has a refrigerator where employees can place food they bring
from home. A microwave will also allow them to heat their lunch and anything the office offers.
These were just some of the ways you can manage a workforce and motivate them to do better. Forceful measures
will only discourage and productivity will drop as a result. At the end of the day, resigning employees will
blame you, not the CEO for their bad experience. An employee who enjoys coming to work is a worthy investment.
Focus on team happiness as a whole and you can become a leader that everyone can look up to. It will also go a
long way in opening up better job opportunities down the line.