If your company is failing to invest in your employees, the honest truth is that your business has no future. This may sound harsh, but it is the truth – without room to grow and advance in their skill sets, your employees will either stagnate or leave your firm for a competitor.
As employees, people value the opportunity to grow and change. When people are more engaged in their workplace culture and daily tasks, the overall business improves. A 2013 Gallup poll showed that “Increased engagement leads to higher earnings per share” – that is, the businesses with employees who felt empowered made more money.
Ideally, you want your employees to feel valued and to know that they can grow and develop within your company. Read ahead to learn about specific ways to foster this experience.
Ten specific ways how to increase employee engagement and empower your employees
Now that you know just how important their empowerment is, it is time to put a plan into action in order to achieve this goal. After all, your success (and your company’s overall success) depends on their success.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, but you will find that by implementing the strategies below, you can help to encourage growth in your employees. Most importantly, by showing them that you are willing and committed to their empowerment, you are sending a clear message that their job satisfaction and personal development at work is your top concern.
Praise effort, not raw talent.
When it comes to motivation, it can be tempting to lavish praise on those staff members who seem to have oodles of effortless talent. This is a mistake. While raw talent is a bonus, it is important to focus on and praise those employees who put in the time and effort to do their best. This will encourage them to learn and grow rather than rest on the things that naturally come easily to them.
Set generous boundaries.
You might think that setting rigid, tight boundaries is a good way to hem in your employees and give them a clear role definition. This is not always the case – your boundaries should in fact be generous in order to allow employees the freedom to make their own decisions and gain valuable workplace satisfaction.
Listen to what they have to say (not what you want to hear).
Sure, we all want to hear the answers that will relieve our stress and make us feel like everything is running smoothly – but what if these answers aren’t actually based in reality? You want your employees to feel like they can tell you the truth, not what you want to hear.
Earn their trust.
When your employee is having a great month, it is easy to feel like you are there for them through anything. But what happens when you are actually tested? In order to be there for your employee and truly earn their trust, you need to be willing to support them through the bad times as well as the good. Layoffs when an employee is in need? That is a good way to lose everyone’s trust.
Be flexible and give them time.
We’d all like to be able to pay our employees even more, but while this may not be a possibility, you can give them time. Time to learn, time to practice, time to play around with ideas, and time off to manage their personal lives. This leads to a more content, more relaxed and more well rounded employee – and better results for you.
Believe in your employees’ personal growth in the workplace.
This can be harder said than done – but ideally, you need to believe in your team members and build up their confidence. A truly great manager is capable of coaxing top notch performances from even the most ordinary employees. Find out about their strengths, encourage their talents and praise their efforts to improve. Do these things and watch them grow into truly excellent employees.
Forgive their mistakes.
While you may view mistakes as something avoidable and negative, this is not the case. In fact, if your employees are not making at least some mistakes, they aren’t reaching and pushing themselves hard enough. Every time you punish one of their mistakes, you are telling them to be more conservative going forward.
Provide a clear growth path.
We all want to grow and change in our lives, and your employees are no different. If you do not give them room to grow, you are in effect forcing them to leave your firm. Provide clear paths for your employees to advance, change and grow within your business.
Ask powerful questions and listen to the answers.
As the business owner, you likely think of yourself as the expert in your field – but it can pay to take a step back and listen. Rather than telling them what to do, ask powerful questions and listen carefully to their answers. This can result in exciting innovations and ‘outside the box’ solutions.
Kibosh your own ego.
We all want to be a knowledgeable source of wisdom and creativity, but if you really want to see your business grow, you need to put this aside. Don’t let your own ego get in the way of your employees’ personal growth and development. After all, the highest compliment that they can give you is to one day surpass your expertise.
Have you tried any of the above strategies and had success (or otherwise)? Do you think we are missing any key points from our list of ways to empower personal growth at work? Get in touch, start a conversation on social media or leave a comment in the comment section below.