As an HR Manager you’ve undoubtedly come across many employees, who are always late for work, employees who are rude no matter how polite you speak to them and of course lazy employees. But, just because the organisation has a few ‘rotten potatoes’, doesn’t mean all employees are inadequate.

Good management can sometimes mean the difference between having poor, satisfactory, and phenomenal employees. Here are some ideas for encouraging employee excellence;

1- Build a culture of productivity. From the moment you first interview a candidate, they should understand your expectations. Whether your culture is a high-stress, strict regime, or a laid back, go with the flow atmosphere and be sure your employees truly comprehend that you value and expect productivity.

2- Offer incentives. Even the most dedicated and self-motivated worker needs an external incentive from time to time. Think of an incentive such as ‘Employee of the Month’, or additional bonuses that you can consistently offer, and this does not always have to be in a form of money.

3- Have employees learn the vision and mission statement. Make sure your staff is aware of the company’s reason for existence and its purpose. When the entire staff complement, from the lady cleaning the offices to the CEO is united in a common purpose, more work gets done.

4- Give your employees a chance to grow. Too many organisations do not allow employees to grow. They do not welcome new ideas from the rest of the employees. The only creative ideas entertained are those of management. Communication is stifled and management does not want to relinquish their tight hold on the organisation and give employees a chance to solve problems, try new ideas, and put their own thoughts and ideas to the test.

5- Practice "lavish praise and quick corrections." One of my favourite books is ‘The One-Minute Manager’. You should read it. The essence of it is to catch people doing well and point it out to them. But you also have to quickly correct and reprimand when you see something outside of what you expect. Unless you are managing a large number of employees, try greeting each one of your employees by name every day and see what difference that will do to the overall atmosphere and mood of your office.

Whether your organisation has 10 employees or 5000, these suggestions will ensure a productive workplace and employee satisfaction.
Justice Mandhla is a Human Resources Manager and the author of What they did not teach you in school: Life Long Learning Tips to land a job straight out of school.
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