It’s no great secret that people are the beating heart of every business.
A business is only as good as the team of people running it, but as with all resources in business, your team needs to be nurtured if you’re expecting great things from them.
Now, when we say nurture, we’re not talking about bottle-feeding here. We’re talking about creating a workplace culture that ensures your very human employees feel valued, supported and content. That they are as committed to the business as you are, and aren’t going to book it outta there as soon as they can.
So, what does it look like to nurture your people?
A 2011 study by the University of Iowa showed that empowerment in the workplace led to increased job satisfaction, higher levels of performance and less employee strain and turnover. Employees were also more committed to the organisation on the whole. Sounds like a win-win right?
A culture of empowerment creates employees who are happier at work, more confident in their own skills, and are likely to stay with your business for a long time.
But how do we get there?
- Believe in them 100% – You don’t need a team of superstars to succeed. Work with the team you’ve got by identifying their strengths, giving them tasks that align, and never showing less than 100% confidence that they can do the job.
- Earn their trust – Companies that stick with their employees through thick and thin generate some incredible loyalty. Take care of them, and they’re going to take care of you.
- Praise – Employees need to hear that they’re doing a good job. Remember that constant constructive feedback with little to no praise is just criticism, and no one flourishes under that.
We know, we know, it can be tough to give up control sometimes and let others get on with their jobs when you’re used to making all the decisions.
However, research shows that micromanaging is reeally bad news for business.
It leads to low morale, less productivity and high staff turnover. In fact, it’s even been labelled as one of the top three reasons why employees resign!
Working under a micromanager is beyond stressful, and all it’s really achieving is stifled creativity and critical thinking.
Not to mention, having a manager constantly looking over your shoulder just tells an employee point blank that they aren’t trusted––not even with the little things. It’s really no surprise that employees want to leave workplaces where this is an issue.
TEACH THEM TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES
Now we’ve backed off the micromanaging, employees are going to have more decisions to make and problems to solve.
So how do we develop employees who can do both these things with confidence?
By investing in your employees and teaching them how to solve problems as they arise, you’re giving them the power and skills to think for themselves at work. You’re also letting them know that you trust them with the decisions they make.
You can expect a huge boost in morale and confidence when your team is tackling their problems on their own, which leads to our next point.
GIVE THEM OWNERSHIP OF PROJECTS
A big part of nurturing your people is to work on creating a culture of employee ownership.
What this means basically, is that you delegate employees specific tasks that they get to call all the shots on. The project is their baby to work on, and the success or failure of the project is entirely theirs too. By giving them projects to call their own, employees are going to feel more invested in the success of the project, and in turn, they’ll feel more invested in the success of the business as a whole.
It’s a great way to make your employees feel valued and communicate the trust and belief you have in them.
The sense of accountability they get from project ownership is also going to drive engagement and productivity without you having to get involved.
A recent study found that over 34% of employees worldwide feel that their employers don’t listen to their ideas.
And this is a shame, because as effective engagement tools go, listening is one of the big ways to inspire real change within the workplace.
As Richard Branson says, ‘All good leaders listen to their people and empower them to go away and turn any innovative ideas they have into a reality.’
Listening is a pillar of strong leadership. By listening to your employees you’ll identify areas of your business where there might be problems, you’ll get to know your staff better, and you’ll be encouraging a collaborative environment of knowledge sharing. When people are comfortable sharing their thoughts with their boss or manager, knowing they won’t be shut down or spoken over, they’re going to bring exciting new ideas you may not have thought of.
They’re also going to be empowered to keep bringing ideas and keep getting creative. The result? More growth for your business (a big win all ‘round!).
SET CLEAR GOALS
Have you ever tried to work without having an end goal in sight? Working for the sake of work, without understanding what the point of it is, is demotivating. You feel like a cog in the wheel and it’s impossible to feel ownership of the task or be very interested in the overall success of the business.
Helping employees set and reach goals is vital for every manager. Employees want to know how their work contributes to the business as a whole, so when you set clear targets, you’re making this connection clear for them.
… AND NOW PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
All in all, nurturing your people is not hard to do. It just takes a dedicated, empathetic leader who’s willing to do the work of listening, teaching, delegating and empowering.
Ultimately, your business success comes down to your people, so they are a resource you can’t afford to neglect.
At Megaphone, our most important resource is our team. We put a massive emphasis on cultivating an environment where every team member can be their best selves. By constantly learning and harnessing our potential, we endeavour to get the most out of ourselves every day.
This is why we’re Australia’s #1 Digital Marketing Agency.