Instilling trust and developing keen business acumen in your employees’ minds are the two major cornerstones of creating a productive and healthy workplace. Being an employer, the onus falls on you to gain your employees’ trust while making business decisions that in turn, will affect the wellbeing of the entire workforce.
It is also essential that employees feel empowered, which will gradually lead to better work and improved productivity. Whilst you cannot completely overrule the chances of any allegations of gross misconduct or acts of discrimination in the workplace, you must remember that the key to a happy and productive workspace is ensuring that the employees feel valued in their role. To assist, this article outlines five innovative steps towards empowering your staff and creating a productive work environment for everyone involved.
1. Show Your Trust
Showing your employees that you trust them might be the oldest principle taught in Business Management, however, it is still the best way to earn their loyalty.
As an employer, you need to trust your workforce to go about working on their projects, in their own way. Whilst chances are that they may not accomplish everything exactly as you’d prefer, they will at least have worked independently using their own distinctive flair.
Studies have shown that professionals who are trusted by their employers to take calculated risks and attempt new ways of doing things, often stumble upon solutions that offer immense business value.
In addition, you need to be careful about being too critical, when things don’t go to plan. If your employees feel untrusted they may refrain from giving suggestions during future opportunities, out of a fear of potential consequences.
2. Encourage Small Talk
Being an employer, you must make it a habit of sitting down and engaging in a one-on-one conversation with your employees. You can either have these talks in your office or even at a coffee shop just down the street.
You can encourage your employees to Intentionally speak about their work progress and accomplishments, whilst making a sincere effort to know them on a personal level. By asking them about what’s going on in their lives, you show them that you care about them. Eventually, this will help you develop a friendlier bond with your workforce and a more productive office environment.
Moreover, you must pay heed when an employee informs you of any gross misconduct or acts of discrimination at the workplace. You must immediately investigate the source of such allegations and take appropriate disciplinary actions.
3. Communicate Your Vision
For any business to become successful, it is essential that its workforce has a clear vision of the organisation’s goals and aspirations, and every employee is involved. Individuals who are not clear on their roles in the organisation will fail to be productive in their job. Therefore, it becomes your responsibility as an employer to define the roles of your staff, so that they are aware of what is expected of them.
Studies show that if the workforce isn’t feeling connected to their organisation, there’s little or no incentive for them to innovate. Therefore, you must make it a point to convey your company’s challenges and strategies to your team and welcome their input. In turn, this will help keep up their motivation, while ensuring active participation in getting things done quickly.
4. Have an Open Door Policy
A healthy and productive workplace values the opinions of its employees and truly empowers them. By implementing a simple gesture, such as an open door policy, can do wonders to communicate exactly that.
Furthermore, adopting an open door policy also highlights the fact that you care about what your employees think, and want them to be encouraged to play an active role in the organization. Leaving your office door open, you can also identify which processes and policies might be stifling innovation.
For example, it can be quite time consuming if recommendations go through several levels of approvals before getting implemented, if at all. Therefore, you can take insights from your employees to look for ways that may help streamline the approval process.
Having said this, you must also investigate any allegations of gross misconduct, acts of discrimination, and wrongful discrimination from your employees. If left unattended, such allegations and complaints could lead to an unwanted employment tribunal claim or other legal implications.
5. Delegate More Than Just Work
Delegating tasks and projects is an inseparable part of any business. Furthermore, it is also important that you don’t just delegate work to your staff, but make sure they see the value behind it. For example, you can ask a staff member to preside over an important business presentation, even if it’s just for a while (you could step out to talk on the phone, for example). This will help instill a feeling of belonging and self-confidence for this particular employee.
Moreover, you could share projects that have a significant business proposition and garner visibility across all departments. This way, your employees can see themselves become a valuable part of the whole organisation.
Helping to develop programmes to promote work-life balance, such as paid time off for volunteer work, promotes flexibility. You can also re-distribute workloads whenever necessary and bring-in temporary professionals when demands escalate, just to keep your staff members fresh and motivated.