Empowering your employees is one of the most reliable strategies for long-term business growth. Keeping a team of experts committed to your company goals on your payroll will keep productivity consistently high.
This approach stands in contrast with the dominant one, which involves keeping employees in a high-churn environment. It costs X times more to recruit, onboard, and train a new employee than it does to retain an existing one. Additionally, constant recruitment cycles can wear down team morale over time.
But what does it mean to empower employees? This phrase is on everyone’s proverbial lips online, but not much of substance has been written on the topic aside from tedious HR self-help nonsense. So instead of peddling fluff, we will offer some practical advice on how to keep your employees happy, motivated, and productive.
1. Offer Consistent Incentives and Bonuses
To keep employees invested in your company’s future, you need to invest in them in return. And the best way to invest is to invest consistently. We believe that creating custom incentive and bonus plans for each employee has its benefits. But we also believe that this the root cause of workplace friction and low morale. In addition to having a single incentive and bonus plan for everyone, you should ensure that the plan is internally consistent as well. Attach bonuses to measurable benchmarks, and don’t incentivise one outcome over others.
2. Streamline the Tech Stack
There is a limit to how many tools an individual can learn to use effectively, whether they are hardware tools or digital ones. Pervasive digital marketing has made it easy to fall into the trap of needlessly adding new tools to your tech stack. And if you wish to see a return on your investment in these tools, you will have to teach your employees how to use them. This will lead to workflow disruption, and consequently lower productivity. So instead of following the latest tech tool fad, stick with what your employees are already comfortable at using.
3. Encourage Self-Management
Empowerment is about being in control of your situation. So in order to empower your employees, you need to trust them to manage things themselves. This doesn’t mean you should maintain a completely hands-off approach to management. Rather, the point is to curb inefficient management practices within your company, while empowering your employees at the same time. Micromanagement is the main offender here. Your must resist the urge to micromanage matters that have no long-term impact on employee productivity. Let employees self-manage instead.
4. Host a Networking Event
Your employees don’t live in a bubble. They maintain a variety of relationships with individuals from different industries, including your own. These relationships are crucial for their personal and professional growth. If you try to curb these relationships by keeping your employees isolated from the rest of the industry, you will cut their potential development short, sabotaging your company’s long-term productivity. What you should do instead is give your employees the opportunity to network with other professionals to help them stay on top of industry trends. This will encourage them to adopt the latest best practices in their line of work. You can hire an event planner to help you organise the event, or you can plan a collective visit to an established industry event.
5. Set Up an Office Library
Business growth is intrinsically tied to employee development. The more knowledgeable your employees are, the better they will be at their jobs. Quality employees will pick up new skills if given the opportunity, and it is up to you to provide one. Organising a training seminar is a tried and tested way to do this, but there are also other effective options. One of the most cost-effective ones is setting up an office library. By providing relevant literature on-site, you will empower your employees to learn at their own pace.
6. Get an Office Pet
Having too much on one’s plate is one of the main causes of workplace-related stress. Workplace stress will make your employees anxious, frustrated, and depressed which will significantly lower their productivity. Conversely, if you create a stress-free environment for your employees, the resulting comfort will make them work harder on their own accord. One slightly unorthodox way to reduce workplace stress is to get an office pet. Introducing another living being into the office will put your employees at ease, especially if they have pets of their own at home. Office plants are great a choice, as they don’t require much care in order to thrive. An office aquarium can also work, if you’re more inclined towards the animal kingdom.
Employees are the productive core of your business operation. If you treat them well, they will work hard towards achieving your business goals. And in order to help them push their own limits, you need to keep them empowered. You can start by implementing the strategies we have outlined above.