Getting the Best from Your Staff – Some Ideas from our Latest Workshop

At the end of November 2012 we ran another of our very popular workshops, where we focused on how to get the best from your staff. After a short talk on issues to be considered, we opened up the floor to the delegates, to give them a chance to ask specific questions about their businesses and their staff.

Here are some of the topics that came up in the discussions, along with some of the solutions that were proposed.

Top tips for getting the best from your staff:

  • Appraisals are very effective for learning where your members of staff are at with their jobs. It gives you both a chance to talk about what’s expected and how people are performing against those expectations. Not carrying out regular appraisals can allow small issues to grow into major problems, if they’re not dealt with promptly.
  • Job Chats are a more informal way of talking to members of staff about how things are going. You might have a job chat over a cup of coffee rather than in a meeting or with agenda. You can do them more frequently than appraisals and they are a great way of picking up small issues that need to be discussed.
  • There are many ways of rewarding your staff that don’t involve money. Reward them by making them feel part of your business; if they can see how they have an influence on the growth of the business, they will get a great sense of achievement and feel important and needed.

And here are some of the topics we discussed:

Question: “One of my staff members works hard during office hours and takes work home, so we don’t mind if he’s a bit late in the morning. Another member of staff doesn’t seem to work as hard and is checked when he’s late. He’s complained about this. What can I do to keep both of them happy and working hard?”

Answer: “Talk to the second staff member to explain why you’re more flexible with his colleague. He may not be aware how hard his colleague is working or that he takes work home with him.”


An idea: “We introduced an efficiency percentage report for our staff, based on the speed of finishing a project, completing it properly and the size of the project. The report is great for showing who is doing what within the business. Some staff didn’t like the idea when we introduced it, until we realised that they’re the ones who aren’t very busy. They’re finishing a project and not letting me know that they need more work to be getting on with! Now we know who is working efficiently, we can work on improving that across the whole business.”


An issue: “A couple of members of staff asked me if they could work late and do some overtime and I agreed. I’m not often in the office and at the end of the first week, my general manager asked why they were working late. When I explained, he told me that these two members of staff were always late in the morning! Did they ask me instead of their manager because they knew what I’d say?”

A solution: Make sure you’re clear about what you agree with your staff and find out why they want to change their hours. Consider all the angles and speak to their managers before making a decision.

We’ll be running another workshop in the spring which you can attend if you have any issues to discuss. If you have anything you need help with now, please do get in touch by calling 0118 940 3032 or emailing