If customers are the lifeblood of a business, employees are the primer that ensure each cog is working smoothly. Helping your employees cost money for training and tools, but the expenses are offset by long-term savings from keeping your company's attrition rate low. The more support you give your employees, the happier and more satisfied they will be, which means less chances of them jumping ship and you being left with damage control. But how do companies empower their employees without overspending and possibly spreading themselves too thin? Here are six steps you can use to boost your employees' skill set.
Do One-on-One Consultations
Companies that consult with their employees one on one instead of group meetings can obtain more accurate information that they can actually use to make improvements around the workplace. A conducive environment keeps your employees happy, keeps them focused, and allows them to grow personally and professionally. They can only tell you what sort of work environment they want and what's wrong with the current one they have if they feel comfortable divulging that information. Foster an environment of free and open communication it by doing regular one on one consultations with your employees.
Keep Them On Their Toes
Stretch assignments are by far the best way for employees to learn and grow. As their supervisor or employer, you are in a spot to seek out opportunities that are aligned with your employees' specific developmental needs and professional ambitions. You don't have to pinpoint the most qualified employee for a challenging project or assignment. Instead, think about pairing the right project with the right person.
Help Them Get Certified
Certification and licensure help build the credentials and trustworthiness of your employees. Not only does it help validate the competence and reliability of your workforce to your shareholders and consumers, but it's also required by law to get certification to be able to work in certain jobs and industries. For web developers, getting a certification in IT systems is a good investment of business capital towards empowerment of employees. For businesses in the food industry, a food handlers card is a worthwhile investment that takes little time to prepare for and complete.
Fine-tune the Hiring Process
Bringing the right people on board is perhaps the first actionable step towards composing a workforce with the right skills. Employees with a high degree of motivation and involvement tend to develop faster as a professional. If you bring in people who don't even want to be in the profession or industry they are currently in, it will be more exhausting to train and improve them. On the other hand, those who want to be inspired and supported can quickly grow into their role when offered even a small support.
Volunteer Your Time Into Mentoring
Based on an excerpt in a Harvard Business Review, today's fleet of supervisors are mostly overworked and no longer offer their golden nuggets of advice and wisdom to subordinates in the form of mentoring. Companies should support and incentivize their department leaders to pass on their industry experience and techniques to employees. Mentoring sounds overwhelming at first, particularly for high-level management staff that have little to no experience. However, today's employees are more than just busy, obedient drones that are okay with being given a set of commands and then performing them no questions asked. They seek professional growth and support.
Be Willing to Pour in the Resources
No real and lifelong change can start without real investment of resources and commitment from the company. Enriching your employees' ambition and skill set takes regular training, seminars, coaching and mentoring, and other educational tools and resources.
Being supportive of your employees can have far greater benefits as opposed to the initial costs over time. By empowering more of your employees, your business grows faster and is afforded more opportunities in terms of potential new ideas and more innovative solutions.