By: Kristen Goodell, Co- Owner HR Resource Force
Business success is often talked about in terms of revenue and sales. Those figures matter, but to reach those external goals takes an engaged staff and a motivated workforce. With the right approach and the right plan, you can build a company culture that drives all of your key goals from within, leveraging the power of driven people.
1.) Improve Your Processes
Small companies tend to have clearly defined and delegated employee responsibilities. As you grow, this becomes muddled, increasing the confusion as to who is accountable, who has authority to execute deliverables, and who did (or did not) communicate information. Decision paralysis, second guessing judgments, and siloed departments will cripple your business.
Re-Define Employee Roles
Employees need clear direction with outlined tasks that lead them to their goals. Astonishingly, even brilliant people require detailed project delegation with concrete targets and deadlines. Convey your organization’s objective as a whole and communicate how each employee’s job assignment contributes to the business’s internal aim. Lack of information flow extends to decision rights, as managers may not know where their authority ends and another’s begins. Accountability will suffer.
Develop Workflow & Transparency
Harvard Business Review described how Goodward Insurance struggled with workflow: “We’ve been discussing this problem for several years, and yet you always say that it’s so-and-so’s problem, not mine. Identified and archived employee expectations leaves zero room for dispute, redundancy, or miscommunication. Web infrastructures ensure accuracy, visibility, dynamic workflows, and efficient version control for our increasingly fast-paced climate.
2.) Improve Your Culture
Small businesses have distinctive cultures that are easily evidenced in their employee morale. As you grow, maintaining a group mood and mission becomes challenging. Disregarding the negative impact of low spirits in your workplace will sabotage your movement forward. Build a toxic culture prevention plan that includes engagement efforts, training opportunities, and communication.
According to a Gallup research poll, only 30% of the U.S. workforce is engaged in its work. The vast majority of U.S. workers (70%) are not reaching their full potential, causing significant productivity loss. Many companies try to incentivize employees, but these only work when the individual places a high value on the allurement. Inspirations must be important and obtainable or they will waste your time and money. Empower your employees to direct you with what inspires them.
Factory workers and similar job types often benefit from the carrot and the stick method of reward. In situations where daily or weekly quotas were met, a minimum error rate was achieved, a time schedule was abided, consider providing a flex hour pass, day pass, lunch pass, or personal appointment pass.
White collar professionals want autonomy, a sense of purpose that what they are doing matters to the world, and mastery of a skill important to them. Create a program in which your staff generates one creative objective every other month that improves their work mission or connects their work with the outside world. At the end of the month, have your employees do a 5-minute presentation on how they accomplished this skill and identify why it matters to the big picture.
Career advancement opportunity may be the most important motivator. Ongoing skill development and education opportunities will validate your staff’s employment status is worthwhile.
When employees increase their skill sets, they remain interested in their jobs. Employees with multiple skill sets offers diversity and interest to their career. Their diverse skillset also provides more flexibility to you so that when life issues arise (pregnancy, health, family demands) these employees can take over and fill in various positions.
Building bonds rapidly with new employees will lead to connectivity and loyalty. The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) states that 53% of American employees are unsatisfied with the level of communication with their employers. If you provide systematic, structured communication, you will increase your organization’s ability to deliver consistent messaging, decrease employee exits, and bolster confident employee perspectives.
Realize how millennials communicate. According to Forbes, in 2025, 75% of our workforce will be millennials. Understand the millennial generation grew up with parents that explained everything. This generation was not a separate entity from their parents and wasn’t told; be seen not heard, be subordinate, but was an equally joined force in the family unit. They had fluid family roles. This cultural upbringing carries over into how they are willing to operate at work and why they will quit.
Gallup polls indicate that 87% of employees are less likely to leave if they feel engaged and valued. Start building a more engaging culture today.