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12/6/2010
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Michele Warren
Michele Warren
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5 Tips For Encouraging Excellence

Are you a small-business owner who finds yourself micromanaging things lest everything isn't done perfectly? Do you want more from your employees? Here are some tips for encouraging excellence from your team.

Are you a small-business owner who finds yourself micromanaging things lest everything isn't done perfectly? Do you want more from your employees? Here are some tips for encouraging excellence from your team."Managing employees can be a challenge," says Clate Mask, co-founder of Infusionsoft, a provider of e-mail marketing solutions. "Good management can sometimes mean the difference between having poor, satisfactory, or phenomenal employees."

Here are some of his tips for making your staff the best--and most satisfied--they can be.

1. Build a culture of productivity. First and foremost, employees need to know what you expect of them. They certainly can't give you what you want if you don't tell them what that is. And don't wait until their first day on the job. Prospective employees should know what you expect by the end of the first interview." Whether your company culture is high-stress or laid back, be sure your employees truly comprehend that you value and expect productivity," Mask says.

2. Teach employees your mission statement. "Make sure your staff is aware of the company's purpose," Mask says. "When the entire company is united in a common purpose, more work gets done."

3. Offer incentives. According to Mask, even the most dedicated and self-motivated worker needs an external incentive once in a while. Think of something you can offer high-performing employees consistently--perhaps an Employee of the Month award or a bonus.

4. Give staffers a chance to grow. Too many business owners become one-man shows, adherents of a common credo: "If you want something done right, do it yourself." But Mask encourages entrepreneurs to relinquish their "tight holds" and give employees a chance to shine--to "solve problems, try new ideas, and put their own thoughts and ideas to the test."

5. Practice "lavish praise and quick corrections." Mask says he plucked this idea from one of his favorite books: "The One-Minute Manager," by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. The essence of it? When you see somebody doing a good job of something, point it out to them. On the flip side, don't let the grass grow under your feet if one of your employees is doing something outside of what you expect. Be quick to correct them and put them back on course.

Make these tips a part of your management strategy and promote a culture of excellence.

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