Could your workplace culture use a boost? When you look at your divisions and teams, would you like to see an increase in engagement, ambition, and idea-sharing? Even if your teams generally get along and enjoy their jobs, you may still see room for improvement and you may still benefit in looking for ways to cultivate your employees’ self-drive and sense of investment.
According to workplace science experts at Gallup, the primary difference between mediocre workplace cultures and strong, engaged cultures can be found in the knowledge and skills of team leaders. So if you focus your efforts on honing your existing leaders, you’ll begin an upward spiral; better leaders will mean more engaged employees, who will develop their own leadership skills, and eventually all the boats in your workplace will rise with the tide. Even those who have no official authority or direct reports (entry-level workers and those in support roles) will become leaders, innovators, and self-driven forward thinkers.
So what can you do to spark this spiral of improvement and this pervasive sense of ownership and leadership? Start with these three concepts.
Development matters. While most talented employees are interested in improving their knowledge and skills, they’re also occupied by the tasks of the moment. And without guidance and direction, even the best intentions might not result in practical learning and skill development. So take control, provide structured growth opportunities, and encourage your employees to take advantage of them. Establish classes and training courses in specific, measurable and practical skills that can be applied to the company mission. Then make it easy for employees to take advantage of these courses. Hold them during regular work hours and offer incentives for course completion (or simply makes training and development sessions mandatory).
At any given moment, any person in your workplace should be able to answer these questions, if asked: What are you doing? Why are you doing it? How does this small action support larger actions which support the company as a whole? Too often, employees can’t really answer these questions or they don’t know exactly why they’ve been tasked with various assignments, and this can undermine their sense of purpose. Bring everyone into the loop whenever possible, stay transparent, and make sure everyone knows how their contributions support the enterprise.
Strength Based Coaching
Every employee steps into your workplace with a certain set of strengths, which include hard-earned skills, natural talents, or just positive ingrained personality traits they’ve possessed since birth. These “strengths”, if cultivated and encouraged, can help employees unlock the full power of their innovation and self-drive. Focus on finding the inherent strengths in every employee and bringing them forward for all to see.
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