A few years ago, I asked myself a question: “What am I doing to engage our staff?” This question was born in a period when we were experiencing a rash of turnover. Most of it was not a commentary on how we were doing as a company, but what our staff was looking for in their careers. However, the situation made me think about how we approached managing staff from the organization level. Were we doing enough to best use the human capital we had? Were we meeting their goals? Were we providing the feedback they needed to grow?
If you manage staff and haven’t yet asked yourself these questions, you should before it is too late. Working in sports has unique obstacles when it comes to staff management, such as night and weekend work, but in general, the principles carry across industries. Here is a quick look at some things to consider when evaluating how you engage with your staff.
Incentivize Your Staff
In today’s world, the incentive packages need to go beyond salary and bonuses. As more millennials hit the workforce, companies need to change how they view economic incentives. Look to provide various programs that may include options to work from home, team lunches, gifts or team outings. These types of things break up the mundane nature of being in an office 9-5, five days per week. Group activities also foster teambuilding among your staff.
Give Your Staff a Means to Provide Feedback
Employees want to feel that their opinion is being heard and matters. “Our company as a whole has enrolled in Officevibe, a quick, very short weekly survey that is 100 percent anonymous,” says Hank Pivarnik, CSEE, director of sports sales at Hilton Worldwide. “We are a month into it and it seems to be a good sounding board. Feedback to and from an employee could be the difference in retaining that employee.” Adds Pivarnik, “There needs to be simple, open and free-flowing communication in both directions from team member to supervisor and back.”
Lead by Example
All levels of management, especially senior leadership, need to model behavior the entire company can be proud of. Employees will immediately disengage from a company as soon as their leaders act in a way they do not respect. Management-level staff need to understand they are always under the microscope. Management will set the tone for what is allowed and what is unacceptable. If your actions are counter to the policy you hold your staff to, then they will be out the door before you realize what happened.
It is also important to be flexible and remember to respect your staff as individuals. Not every employee will respond in the same manner to incentives, feedback or other programs. There is no catch-all solution.
If you are continually evolving how you manage your staff, you will build a strong team and increase productivity and retention, all of which ultimately help the bottom line.
Matthew Libber, CSEE, is vice president of business operations at the Maryland-based Elite Tournaments, which he co-founded with his brother, Michael Libber.