Workers are leaving their jobs at record rates, seeking higher job satisfaction, more flexibility, and higher wages. Now, more than ever before, it’s important for businesses to put forth efforts to empower their employees, not only so they will stay on the payroll, but also so they will feel a positive work/life balance and be even more productive than ever.
Set Realistic Goals. Employees work best when they know precisely what is expected of them. Without micromanaging, step in to give them the tools they need to complete their goals, along with the information on the goals themselves. Then, step back so they can complete the goals on their own. Taking control and too much interference by upper management disempowers employees and makes them feel unappreciated and less valuable.
Reward Performance. Positive feedback is one of the most successful ways to motivate. It’s true in any relationship dynamic including employee/employer. There are many ways you can implement rewards including:
- Incentive programs – when the employee and/or their specified team reaches a predetermined goal, extra compensation is given.
- Profit sharing – letting employees share in the company’s success will motivate them to be more productive and feel more fulfilled when they see it grow.
- Egift cards – convenient and easy to send via text or email, taking the time to personalize rewards with egift cards shows employees that they are valuable members of the team.
- Employee appreciation events – a great way to recognize the company as a whole, when specific goals are reached offer breakfast on Mondays or catered lunch on Fridays.
Provide Feedback. It’s when employees don’t feel heard when they become disgruntled and seek employment elsewhere. By providing specific days/times/ and avenues for giving and seeking feedback about management style, performance reviews, and corporate objectives, you give your employees a route toward speaking their mind, clarity on how they are performing, and also what is expected of them now and into the future.
Encourage Employee Professional Development. As a business, when you invest in your employees’ professional development, you are investing in your own company. Whether or not the employee stays with the company after a period of growth, they will always consider your establishment as a proactive partner in their career path. Encouraging professional development strategies include:
- Encourage continued education. By offering financial assistance or by being flexible with their juggle between work and school, being a partner in their growth will empower them and other employees and reveal the heart and soul of your company.
- Hire industry leaders to speak. Every month or two, bringing in an industry leader to speak and answer questions will keep employees engaged and up-to-date with industry progress.
- Trade shows. Try to send different employees to various trade shows throughout the year, to be sure that each of them is included. Work with them on questions they may want to ask, and review reflective listening skills.
Involve Your Employees
When you seek out employees’ opinions and ideas, it makes them feel valuable and empowered. Their investment is more directly correlated to the company’s success, making them feel more a part of the team. Letting them voice their ideas will encourage them to be creative which will fuel the wheels of imagination and keep your company from becoming stagnant.
Build a Culture of Trust
When management is transparent with the business’s successes and failures, employees will feel they can trust in the motivation and ideals of the company. Foster trust in upper management so other staff members will feel valued and follow suit. Keeping promises and telling the truth, utilizing debate and open dialogue to solve friction and conflicts will create a mutual feeling of trust and respect in employees.
Considered one of the top leadership skills, when upper management shows empathy, it’s been proven that employees are more likely to stay with the company. Developing greater emotional intelligence (EQ) to honor each employee as an individual and take each circumstance into account will be a contributing force toward employee retention.
Encourage Problem Solving
There are always going to be problems within a company. Whether it has to do with personal issues, conflict between staff members or issues with clients, problem solving is an ongoing venture. When an employee comes to you with a problem, get them into the habit of coming up with 3 separate solutions. At first, they may be looking to you to solve the issue, but as they learn to handle problems creatively and come up with viable solutions, their confidence – and empowerment – will grow.