If you saw our last blog article, you know that a company’s greatest superpower is its people! Plus, the need to effectively manage workforces is evolving yet evermore vital. With the Baby Boomer generation reaching retirement age, there are an estimated 11+ million job openings that need to be filled before 2020. Additionally, technology has added a new spin on the classic office set-up, with more employees able to work remotely each and every year. The bottom line? Human capital management has new opportunities and risk for reward than perhaps ever before!
But exactly how do you enact this superpower? By allowing employees to ignite their own superpowers! Here are our best tips for allowing employees’ strengths to shine:
- It’s as simple as training and development: ConAgra Foods Inc. looked into retention rates for 2,200 supervisors across 65 plant locations. Over a one-year span, the turnover rate for untrained supervisors was 11.4%, while the rate for trained supervisors was less than half of that at only 5.3% – which translates to savings of $2.3 million! ConAgra is just one of many examples showing how an investment in developing your employees – at every level of leadership – can have absolutely staggering returns.
- Make the most of the Manager-employee relationship: The main factor in workplace unhappiness is attributable to the Direct Manager, and Managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. Therefore, it’s vital to make the most of this relationship, and for bosses to focus just as heavily – if not more so – on an employee’s strengths during performance reviews as on their areas to develop. On top of a Direct Manager, larger companies can implement mentorship programs, or another way for employees to engage with potential role models within the organization.
- With great power, comes great responsibility: Give your employees room to shine! Delegate appropriate tasks to them that stretch their skills and imagination. By recognizing your employees’ strengths and then delegating effectively to the individuals you lead, you will enhance their engagement, offer challenging assignments that push them out of their comfort zones, prepare them for the next level, and also free up your time for higher-level, strategic initiatives. Trusting and empowering your team will lead to stronger levels of engagement, higher levels of innovation and creativity, and stronger bench strength.
- Allow Flexibility: Flexible work options – whether in terms of hours, workplace set-up, or even the ability to work-from-home – not only have an impact on employee happiness (82% of employees claim they would be more loyal to employers if given more flexible work options), but also allow employees to fully work at their best, based on which environment is most productive for their personal work style.
- Have fun!: Sometimes invigorating an employee’s efficiency and creativity is as easy as adding some “fun” into the workplace. This doesn’t necessarily mean carnival rides or a stand-up comedy show, but rather simply adding a new take on the traditional way of doing things. For example, Fluor Corporation invited a group of young schoolchildren to work with one group of managers during their training meeting, while a separate group of managers worked independently. At the end of the day, the mixed group “had generated far more innovative ideas than the managers-only group.”
Ultimately, leveraging employees’ strengths is a win-win-win cycle: employees that are able to use their skillsets at work become more engaged, which results in a more successful workplace with even more opportunities to grow and develop! It all starts with believing your employees have superpowers, and following some simple steps to help them activate their force fields!
RIP Stan Lee (1922 – 2018). May you continue to soar…