Written by: Kevin Gardner
Finding the right people to work for you is important of course. Keeping them motivated and engaged enough to be effective is often more difficult than spotting the right talent in the first place. In fact, retaining workers is a growing challenge throughout the business world. Here are five ways that you can empower your employees to strive for success and make the kind of good decisions that will elevate your business.
Provide Top Tier Technology
A modern business can't survive without modern technology. These days, sophisticated computer programs can automate many menial tasks which tend to devour time that could be better spent on pursuing the creative goals of the company. On the flipside, lagging behind the technological curve, especially when it comes to computing power, can grind operations to a halt. Security is a major concern in this sphere. Create peace of mind among employees (and for yourself) by investing in upgraded security protocols, such as passwordless authentication systems, that can keep everyone's data more secure.
Teach the Soft Skills
It's certainly important that employees be routinely drilled and trained in the skill sets required to do their jobs. Oftentimes, though, the most vital tool for success lies in the teaching of those unquantifiable soft skills such as critical thinking and team building. Arguably the most important and in-demand soft skill is communication. Paradoxically, it's also the hardest skill to find in employees. Communicate your own priorities clearly and concisely in order to ingrain that way of speaking into the culture. Encourage honest and open discussion at meetings to keep discontent from festering and thus turning the entire environment negative. Nurture and value the professional relationships that are so important to the smooth running of the business.
Set Clear Goals
Helping your employees to both plan and reach goals is key to the success of any business endeavor. To this end, leaders need to strike a balance between actively managing this process and giving skilled employees the authority and space to accomplish goals their own way. Connecting the goals of the company at large with those of individuals is a powerful tool for growth. Make sure that you not only have a plan in place for what you're setting out to accomplish, insist upon regular progress reports as well. If you can, connect employee goals to those of the company. Show them how the success of one particular task will benefit them personally and get them closer to achieving their own desires.
There are going to be times when, even given the best laid plans and most thorough support, an employee fails to accomplish a goal. That's where having solid working relationships comes in handy. Take a hard line against dishonesty and deflection of culpability, but encourage people to analyze their own issues and come up with solutions for what to do better next time. Don't take success for granted. Give people praise and support more often than you level criticism in order to show that all contributions to the common good are valued.
Be the Culture You Want to Create
As an owner or manager of a business, you're the captain of the ship. Having a cohesive and powerful vision for your company is crucial to keeping members of your team motivated. In a 2019 poll from Glassdoor, over half of the 5,000 respondents stated that the culture of a company is more important to their feelings of job satisfaction than salary is. That's a staggering number, and it's not enough to simply state that vision out loud, or commit it to a piece of paper for everyone to read. The person in charge has to exemplify the virtues and purpose of the organization. In other words, the leader has to be as emotionally invested in achievement as they expect those working for them to be.
Work is an important part of everyone's life. However, it's often said that if we're doing something we love, we don't really work a day in our lives. Create a working environment that empowers your employees and keeps them invested in the vision of your company, and you're guaranteed to attract and keep the best talent.