What is meant by the phrase ‘a job well-done’? For most managers, a job well-done is when an employee successfully delivers on an assigned task. However, there are instances when the employee’s performance is dismal or downright disappointing. There can be a number of reasons for this particular outcome. Perhaps the initial instructions lacked clarity or the employee has been inadequately trained. It may be that they are feeling stressed or demotivated and that is hindering their on-the-job performance. Such situations demand that the manager step up and investigate what is holding their team back from giving one-hundred percent.

Here are some techniques that leaders can adopt for a healthy and productive working environment:

Reward Desirable Behavior

The first step in achieving full team productivity is clearly communicating the desired outcome. Whether this communication is written, verbal or a combination of the both, you must also receive an acknowledgement from each team member about the assignment.

The next step is to reward desirable behaviour in the workplace via positive reinforcement. After identifying where an employee or a group of employees have ‘dropped the ball’, the manager must convert those observations into learning moments. Just as importantly, a team lead should openly recognize all work done right and on-time.

Positive reinforcement develops an individual’s confidence by indicating what works well and what requires improvement.  It makes them feel good about the work they do, boosts their self-esteem and encourages creativity within the work environment. When there is a lack of positive reinforcement by management, there is a greater chance of job dissatisfaction.

Provide Engaging Training Experiences

Part and parcel of workplace leadership is enhancing your team’s skills through a variety of tools. Whether or not your direct reports are in a formal customer support role, they can all benefit from a customer service training module. Interactive training programs, especially when they are coupled with games, allow teams to solve blind spots without boring the participants. According to a DigitalChalk survey, close to 80% of learners believe they will be more productive if their work was more game-like. Training programs can also be customized to fit a particular team’s learning requirements.

Encourage Team Bonding

Believe it or not, team building experiences actually deliver results! Office-sponsored sporting events, department-wide picnics or holiday barbeques – all of these activities encourage team-building in a neutral, stress-free environment. Team bonding activities, like surviving an escape room or playing a soccer match, capitalize on what experts call the ‘power of play’.  Team members get to explore and test out group dynamics without posing a risk to the business or the bottom-line! Who is a natural-born leader? Which group of professionals adapt the best in a rapidly changing and competitive environment? You can find all of this out and more while building trust within the ranks.

Use Incentives (Sparingly)

Supervisors should exercise caution and restraint while leveraging both monetary and non-monetary incentives. There is no doubt, provided conditions are ideal, that incentives can successfully motivate employees. The reason for caution is the risk of sending the message that employees should only put the effort in for a perk or a bonus. True professionals will do their utmost on every assignment, whether or not there is a direct incentive involved. Bonuses and perks should reinforce positive on-the-job performance without undermining routine office work.

Provide Actionable Feedback

Management experts keep telling us to give our team members feedback and we all have various ways to do so, including performance reviews. However, not all feedback is created equal. When gearing up to provide feedback, remember that it should be constructive, not critical and provide the recipient with a roadmap for improvement. The right type of actionable feedback can boost employee-manager relations and improve the concerned employee’s task execution.

Behind every laudable moment, every ‘job well-done’, is hours and hours of hard work, collaboration, and trust-building. It is when a team leader and their colleagues work in unison that significant business goals are met. All workplaces can stand to benefit from regular appraisals and tweaks to their employee engagement strategy. Invest in your team by hosting enjoyable team-building workshops and over time, you are bound to see a substantial return in engaged, self-motivated employees.