Opportunities for Growth

Each individual employee values different things in their work life. Perks such as autonomy and recognition are highly valued for some, while flexibility in schedules and opportunities to work remotely are sought after by others. Another incentive that is proven to build a sense of loyalty and longevity is providing opportunities for growth and development within your organization.

When your employees are highly engaged and committed to their jobs, they typically strive to do their best and genuinely want to contribute to not only their individual positions, but to the overall success of the organization as a whole. How do you keep that desire for continued commitment going strong, avoiding the inevitable trap of burnout, particularly after your employees have been with you for a while?

Work with each employee to develop a plan for professional growth. Sit down with them (possibly at the time of a formal or informal performance evaluation) and ask them what their goals are. Where do they see themselves in 5 years? Once those overarching goals are established, determine what you can do to help them achieve those objectives.

Mentoring and coaching with managers and cross training with individuals who hold positions or perform duties the employee would like to work towards are great ways to encourage learning and development. Additionally, this one-on-one training helps strengthen relationships within the company. E-learning opportunities such as certifications and webinars are typically cost-effective methods for learning, and college course work and certifications are other ways to continue building the skills knowledge of your employees.

Granted, each organization is unique in what would be the best fit from a cultural standpoint as well as financially, but there are so many options to assist your employees in their professional development. Taking the time to help your employees reach these goals is mutually beneficial as is helps you retain star employees, keeps your competitive advantage high in recruiting, and is an effective way to keep levels of engagement and morale high.

Autonomy + Recognition = Loyalty

This month we have been discussing the various things you can do as an employer to retain quality employees with the goal of strengthening relationships and increasing levels of loyalty. Non-monetary benefits such as telecommuting are perks that many job seekers look for when applying for and accepting new positions. Another benefit that keeps many employed within an organization for the long haul is autonomy in work and recognition for a job well done.

Employee autonomy is proven to be beneficial for both the individual and the organization as a whole. Providing your employees with independence in their work lets them know that you have faith in their abilities to get the job done. Micromanaging every aspect of a project can be incredibly discouraging and can inhibit success and productivity, especially when you factor in differences in personalities and working styles.

Additionally, giving your employees appropriate levels of autonomy is beneficial for the employer in a number of ways. When employees have independence in their work, they are less likely to fall into the vicious cycle of boredom and discouragement which leads to lower levels of productivity. When those cycles are avoided, your employees will be more satisfied in their positions and more likely to assume more responsibilities and pride in their work.

When said job is not only completed, but completed in an exemplary manner, providing your employees with sufficient praise (both publicly and privately) does a lot to boost morale and encourage continued efforts. When individuals know that their work is appreciated and that they and their contributions to the company are valued, morale and confidence levels spike.

Remember that each employee works and operates differently, so provide each with suitable levels of management and autonomy depending on what will reap the best results for all parties involved. Allowing employees with the freedom to make decisions and manage their workloads, when managed appropriately, and delivering recognition and appreciation for successes and accomplishments will help you establish a workplace full of satisfied, engaged, long-term individuals.  

Telecommuting – Yay or Nay?

Telecommuting and providing flexibility in work schedules are benefits that employees are increasingly seeking and are incentives that really don’t take that much effort or cost (relative to other benefits) to implement. Not only is the opportunity to work remotely appealing to employees as it provides them with an opportunity to manage both their home and work lives efficiently, but there are a number of benefits for employers as well, including:

  • High Levels of Morale = Low Levels of Stress – (A + B = C) When your employees have higher levels of morale, they are less stressed about their work, are more motivated to perform at their best, and will in turn produce quality work. Employees who are happier and healthier often have a sense of autonomy over their work, and providing them with this opportunity will help keep them engaged and reduce burnout.
  • Retention and Reduction of Turnover – For many employees, when the desired work-life balance is met, there is no need or desire to seek work elsewhere as they are content in the stability they’ve established in their position. Recruitment is expensive. Employees who have flexibility are proven to be less likely to leave an organization, with this benefit often outweighing the offer of more compensation elsewhere.
  • Productivity and Work Hours – A huge benefit for employers who have remote employees is the option to extend work hours. With employees working from home, work schedules can be far more flexible (e.g., an employee starting later and working until 8pm versus 5pm) which can benefit your customers and clients, particularly when factoring in varying time zones.

Making the wants and needs of your employees a priority proves to them that you genuinely care about their work and their aspirations. Granted, business needs should always be a top priority, but if you can meet your employees halfway and can offer them incentives and opportunities to grow and perform at their very best, you can reap the benefits of highly motivated, long-term employees who will remain loyal and productive.



Incentives = Retention

The start of a new year provides employers with a fantastic opportunity to evaluate what is important to them as an organization. A common priority that is universal across various industries are productive and loyal employees. Without efficient employees, you aren’t likely to see the levels of profit and productivity that your organization strives to achieve. So how do you ensure low turnover and long-term employees?

Benefits. Now we aren’t talking about diamond-tier health care packages, or retirement programs that will ensure early retirement. While these benefits with a monetary focus are certainly important, employees are increasingly seeking work-life balance in their jobs which is a perk that can be surprisingly simple to implement and mutually beneficial.

Depending on what you can budget, there are countless benefits that you can offer your employees to help ensure loyalty, longevity, and productivity:

  • Telecommuting and Flexible Schedules – A perk that is becoming more and more desired, particularly with younger generations in the workforce, the option to be a remote employee is something that doesn’t really cost your organization much on the backend, but can result in high levels of engagement and morale.
  • Autonomy in Work and Recognition – Providing your employees with more independence in their work lets them know that you trust them to get the job done. When the job is not only completed, but done well on their end, sufficient praise and recognition does a lot to increase motivation and encourage continued efforts.
  • Opportunities for Growth – When employees are engaged and committed, they always want to do their best to contribute to not only their individual position, but to the success of the organization as a whole. To keep that desire for continued commitment going strong, work with your employees to develop a plan to help them grow within your organization (e.g., mentoring, e-learning, or certifications/coursework).

Taking the time to meet your employees halfway by offering various incentives to keep them motivated and engaged can help reduce expensive turnover. When you factor in the various resources necessary in recruitment, it can certainly benefit your organization to invest in the retention and growth of quality employees. Follow along this month as we discuss in more detail the above options for incentives and perks.

Nuts-and-Bolts: Politics of Politics in the Workplace

Election Day is upon us, and so are the political discussions. Along with religion, sex, and money, politics is one of the most controversial topics that exists in our culture. While few employers actually prohibit political discussion in the workplace, inappropriate or heated exchanges that get out of hand can be disciplined, even to the point of termination. In light of November 4th, it’s important to understand the etiquette of political discussions in the workplace. (more…)