Change = A Constructive Challenge

Helen worked at a small consulting firm for nearly 7 years. When the company decided to downsize and move out of the property they were renting, employees were expected to transition to remote worksites (whether that be from home or an office they had access to). With 2 small children at home, working from home presented a huge challenge to Helen. Rather than becoming overly stressed at the prospect of telecommuting, Helen focused on the positives of the situation, and was able to work out her childcare situation, work projects, and time management to ensure that she handled this substantial change in the most efficient manner possible.

Significant changes in our lives can result in 2 very different outcomes. Change has the power to make us feel overwhelmed and anxious, or can provide us with an opportunity to better ourselves. Particularly with change in the workplace, considerable changes can be challenging. Challenges can be constructive however, and approaching such alterations to our work lives with a positive and constructive outlook can result in both personal and professional growth.

Adaptation can be hard, and a good place to start is putting yourself in the right mindset. Challenge yourself to view change as a positive thing and that it is within our power to not allow it to affect us negatively. Focusing your efforts on viewing change not as a threat, but as an opportunity to evolve, learn, and develop further is a positive first step in making the most out of the circumstances we are presented with.

Next week, we will further discuss how to use this newfound mindset to make the most out of the period of adjustment. How do you grow from a situation that, at one time, could have resulted in a loss of engagement and motivation?

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.

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.