As a manager and a business owner, it's your primary responsibility to make sure your key assets are taken care of – your employees. While your budget allocation matters, and finding more clients is vital for business growth, nothing can replace your employees in the process of expanding your business one day at a time. They are the backbone of your brand, they represent and communicate your values, and they need to feel valued and appreciated on a daily basis. In essence, investing in your employees and building your business around them is the most promising method for overall growth and development.
Some managers naturally gravitate towards traditional culture-building procedures such as regular team-building activities, but you should abandon that comfort zone and find more innovative ways to boost your employees' role in your brand. Helping them evolve means that you grant your own business an opportunity to thrive, too. Here are a few tips to help you develop your employee growth strategy that will improve your business, as well.
Regular feedback exchange sessions
Improvement isn't possible unless you actively look for gaps in your current business management processes and employee workflow. You, however, aren't the only person qualified to find and recognize those gaps. On the contrary, you should rely on as many eyes as possible, because each department and every employee might have a unique perspective on how to improve your business. Simply put, sometimes you'll find that the solution to a problem in biology can depend on a physicist or an engineer.
To enable this kind of cross-departmental improvement, you should organize weekly feedback exchanges, and encourage continuous brainstorming in smaller units within your business, such as departments and teams. This is where your willingness to empower independence, paired with collaboration, should truly shine.
Ongoing training and education
Every single sector of your business needs to keep up with the times and trends. Customers start using different payment methods, so your IT team needs to incorporate them on your site while your accounting should keep up, too. Content managers need to recognize “hot” and relevant topics for your industry so that your marketers can make use of that content to position your brand better. The learning never truly stops. Your role in this process can be multifaceted.
In addition to empowering mentors, to which we'll get in a moment, you should also encourage specific educational opportunities for your employees. Enable your valued team members to organize IT training and boost their skills with the latest tools and methods in the industry. They will revamp your systems from stem to stern and allow every other sector to thrive as a result. The IT world is one that never stands still, hence the need to take such an approach, not to mention that every learning opportunity is a way to invest in your employees' personal and professional development.
Encourage a proactive approach
Innovation cannot be forced, but you can definitely entice your employees to share their ideas, and the very first step to such exchanges is creating a safe environment for them to communicate openly and transparently. If your employees fear that their ideas will be mocked, immediately rejected, or later ascribed to someone else, they'll be unlikely ever to reveal the extent of their creativity.
Instead, you should create a process that clearly shows each individual in your organization just how they will benefit from going beyond their assigned work. If they have an idea and a creative suggestion, they should be able to pursue it and to get help from other team members who find value in that idea and can actively contribute. That, by no means, requires you to pursue every single idea, but it can serve as a way to sift through potential projects until they land on something that will benefit them and the company as a whole.
Set up a mentorship program internally
People who have been with you from the moment you've started your business know the ins and outs of your brand. They are treasure troves of useful information, and they are the ones who have developed the identity and the culture of your company. As a result, they are the best possible teachers to your newest additions to your teams, and you should leverage their knowledge to empower the younger, less experienced members to grow.
Assigning mentors is a complex task, so instead of randomly selecting people to work together, analyze your current staff to see who would make a good fit. This will also be a helpful addition to your senior staff's resume, and yet another way to develop their own skills and refresh their knowledge. Keep track of the program's results to make changes when and where necessary based on the comments you receive from participants.
A thriving employee collective is the foundation of business growth, and as such, it deserves your undivided attention together with all other vital assignments you cover regularly. These are just some of the most effective suggestions to encourage and empower employee development, which will, in turn, allow you to grow your brand. Of course, it's essential to customize your approach to your specific needs and make the most of your employees' abilities in the future.