It takes novel ideas and non-stop grit to fuel a company from ideation to stability. For this reason, we’re not all entrepreneurs. However, for companies to sustain their efforts and continue to grow past their early stages, they’ll need strength in numbers.
Some business leaders believe that compensation is enough to motivate employees to do their jobs. But a paycheck can only make up for so much in an age where people want more fulfillment out of their careers.
Let’s look at the three essentials ways to give employees more buy-in so they perform better in their roles.
Whether in our personal or work lives, communication is often the key to developing and maintaining healthy relationships. In professional settings, practicing solid communication makes all the difference in how a workplace feels and functions.
The very first interactions prospective employees have with a company lay the foundation for the rest of the working relationship. Responsibilities and expectations should be clearly defined in the job description, then expounded upon in the job interview. Employees that do get hired should be made to understand their roles within the context of the business. After all, leaders have a lot of knowledge in their heads, but it’s often lost on new hires due to poor communication.
Aside from telling employees what’s expected of them and how their work can impact the organization, they need to be given regular feedback. Traditionally, incremental performance reviews every six months or year served this need. The problem is that business moves faster than ever. A lot can happen in one work day.
Ongoing feedback allows things to be discussed as they’re fresh in the employee and supervisor’s head. When employees do something well, don’t hesitate to recognize them for it, especially in front of other team members. If somebody demonstrates innovative thinking that doesn’t lead to success, champion them for thinking outside the box.
It’s also important to build relationships with employees about more than work topics. Some leaders view this as small talk and avoid it to maintain their authenticity, but small talk doesn’t have to be small, or disingenuous. Ask open-ended questions to elicit more in-depth answers. Remember the details. Follow-up with employees about their lives regularly.
If you detect that an employee is disgruntled or disengaged, don’t tiptoe around it. The problem is likely only to get worse. Sometimes all it takes to change the trajectory of an employee’s attitude is listening to their issues. From here, you can assess whether the employee has deeper-rooted problems with the org or if it’s a matter of tweaking something in their workflow closer to their satisfaction.
A large corporation won’t get far if every single employee has complete autonomy, but workers at every level want an ability to effect change. Empowering employees to put their best efforts forward starts with giving access to resources. If an individual has a good idea for something or wants to look into a problem more closely, they need the proper knowledge at their disposal. If they have to ask a higher up or submit a report request and wait days to weeks for an answer to their question, they’ll be less likely to stray beyond their confines in the future.
Some companies want to streamline and widen their knowledge discovery but are skeptical about employees’ ability to interact with data. Data fluency should be a goal for any modern organization, but so should implementing user-friendly tools. Technologies like ThoughtSpot’s conversational voice analytics make a business’ entire data archive accessible in seconds via natural language voice queries.
Part and parcel with flexible analytics tools are cultivating a company culture that doesn’t look down upon failure. Instead, employees should be encouraged to fail (to an extent, of course).
Companies that are looking to increase employee buy-in will also experience significant benefits when they give workers more flexibility in their schedules. That could mean allowing someone with a long commute to work remotely a few days a week or letting a parent leave the office a few hours’ earlier to pick up their kids.
Hiring and retaining top talent distinguishes businesses from their peers over the long term. Attracting and keeping top talent isn’t easy, though. These types of employees represent vast potential to organizations. However, this potential isn’t realized when employees are challenged. Satisfactory employees will be content to stay in their lane, but business-changing minds thrive when thinking critically.
When defining specific KPIs for the employee’s role, ask for their input. Give a smart employee a boilerplate contract filled with standard KPIs they didn’t have any say over won’t do much to motivate them. It’s also wise to involve good employees in more than their roles concern. Asking an employee’s opinion about something might put a timid individual on the spot, but it shines a spotlight on those looking to have their views heard.
Always push employees to become better versions of themselves, in and out of the workplace. There are many ways to do this, such as self-improvement funds, stipends for higher education or allowing employees to pursue other jobs in the business that interest them.
Organizations can do countless things to give employees more buy-in, but they all involve, communication, empowerment, and challenge. When businesses incorporate various tactics that related to these core employee needs, they’ll see workplace morale increase, turnover decrease, and overall productivity skyrocket.