Your employees want to be their best and grow with you. Unfortunately, a lot of employers aren’t setting their staff up for success.
A recent study conducted by LifeWorks found that only 14% of HR professionals strongly agree their organizations help employees reach their full potential. When you ask yourself that question about your workplace culture, you should be giving a resounding “yes.”
Your employees should be your main focus. When they’re at their best, your company thrives. But if you create a culture where employees are scared of speaking up and creativity is stifled, talent won’t grow, satisfaction and engagement will suffer, and your turnover will skyrocket.
Let’s take a look at some important questions you should be asking about your workplace culture:
Am I Recognizing Success?
Employees love to feel celebrated when they reach their goals. Not only does it feel good to be praised, but it also motivates them. In fact, the study found that of those employers who recognize employees for their successes, 73% of them say they enable employees to reach their full potential.
Unfortunately, recognition can miss the mark. If you’re handing out dull rewards and implementing a recognition program like a stuffy corporate agenda, you come off as disingenuous to your staff.
Focus your recognition on sincerity, and tailor your praise to each individual. Also, general thank-you notes often end up in the wastebasket.
Instead, be specific with your praise, especially for employees who exhibit company values. Share your company’s big wins and show employees how they affected that. For example, if your company hits a sales goal, announce this achievement to everyone.
When these big-picture achievements happen, host fun celebrations that focus on all levels of the organization. As employees feel recognized, they’ll become more motivated to earn more praise and go the extra mile.
Do I Listen to Feedback?
Transparency continues to be a buzzword, but keeping open channels of communication is trendy for a reason. Of those employers who ask for employee feedback regularly, 86% say they enable employees to reach their full potential, according to the study.
Bottom line: if employees don’t feel heard, they don’t feel valued. Don’t make them feel like they’re working in a silo and don’t have a voice.
Instead, focus your workplace culture on being transparent and actively listening to your staff. Conduct employee surveys on an ongoing basis and measure how engaged and satisfied they are. Encourage managers to have ongoing sit-downs and one-on-ones to check in with them. These should be informal and centered on their performance.
Also, managers should actively pursue feedback by asking employees about specific aspects of their day-to-day. For example, if you started a new process, ask your staff what they think and where improvements can be made.
Making your talent feel heard emphasizes the fact that they are integral to the success of the company. If they give their best, the business will thrive.
Do I Encourage Collaboration?
When employees work together, they learn a lot outside their regular duties and can push each other out of their comfort zones. Don’t keep your team disconnected.
In fact, the study linked collaboration with empowering employees—of those employers who create a collaborative team environment, 81% say they enable employees to reach their full potential.
Your workplace culture should bring people together, not keep them apart. To streamline collaboration, start an internal social network where employees can message one another instantly. Also, schedule in-person, collaboration times. Bring teams together on projects that require their unique skills sets.
Employees can even work together as part of your professional development program. Appoint “study buddies” who want to learn similar skills. This way, they’re teaming up to hold each other accountable in both their daily tasks and in their professional growth.
How are you building a workplace culture that empowers your employees to reach their full potential?
|Chris Sullens is the Business Development Director Manager at LifeWorks, a company that delivers holistic and comprehensive well-being—physical, emotional, financial, professional, and mental—through meaningful and purposeful technology and services. Follow LifeWorks on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.|