As leaders, we sometimes lose touch of the importance of our employees. This is not to say that we forget them, it just means that we sometimes forget how important they are to our bottom line. After all, without our employees, we would not be able to perform the functions of our organization.
The reality is that if we do not give our employees the tools they need to succeed, they will either quit or “simply collect a paycheck” (i.e. perform their job to minimal expectations). Either scenario is detrimental to your business.
So what does it mean to “set our employees up for success”? It means we invest in them, giving them the tools needed to succeed, both personally and professionally. This concept can easily be dismissed by larger companies having hundreds and thousands of employees, with a pipeline of individuals ready to take on any job. However, the basic needs of an individual to feel successful, needed, respected, and appreciated do not change, whether in a small company or large. It does not take a Harvard graduate to predict the productivity and longevity of an employee that is set up for success versus one that is not.
So how do we as leaders set employees up to succeed and avoid leadership mistakes? Keep reading!
1. Be Mindful
As Brad Federman once said “Paychecks can’t buy passion”. The first step for a leader is to become aware that a paycheck alone is not going to create the motivation for employees to succeed. Or bring fulfillment for them at work. You will not retain the employees you would want to keep without giving them the opportunity to innovate and excel. As such, you must create opportunities for them to grow, for them to champion a process or skill set, for them to learn new things, for them to innovate and learn how to pick themselves up from a setback. These are not only skill sets that can help them professionally, but personally as well.
2. Create Programs
This is where we need to invest some time and money. Task your managers with identifying training programs that can ensure their employees are given the training needed to perform their job functions.
I would recommend digital training programs that can be accessed 24/7, ensuring consistent application from one employee to another of what is being taught and giving the employee opportunity to take the course at their own speed and as many times as needed. These three vital elements of learning (among others) do not always happen in a classroom environment, nor in subsequent training sessions. Creating digital training programs take time and money, but once the initial investment has been made, each employee will be given the same exact opportunity to learn how to succeed in their job.
3. Motivate Your Employees
Take success stories and share them with the other managers. Utilize the experiences of each manager to further tweak the programs and make them more effective and more successful. Build benchmarks that show progress and success and then rally around those numbers.
Use your marketing team to use these stories on social media or in the trade press. Get the word out that your company has a culture of success and you will recruit better employees and retain existing ones. Create these programs to give your employees the opportunity to better themselves and increase their skills. You will then begin to see an increase in productivity, innovation, initiative, and retention.
Let’s not forget about what it does for the personal life of your employee. If they feel successful, respected, and needed at work, think of the positive influence they will have at home and with others.