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How to Build a Company Culture that Empowers Employees

A successful business firing on all cylinders represents a large number of moving parts. Therefore, it makes sense to assume that when that firm fails to meet sales or performance expectations, some of those moving parts have become gummed up and are not performing at capacity. Whether the supply chain has kinks or advertising isn’t being properly targeted, your job is to discover, isolate, and fix those nonfiring cylinders. Knowledgeable managers understand that the most important moving parts in their organization are their employees.

Accordingly, fostering a company culture that boosts employee empowerment is critical to getting that engine of commerce moving back up to full speed. In addition to boosting ongoing productivity and focus, it also serves to lower recruitment costs through increased employee loyalty.

Building People to Build Business

Positive company culture is your passport to positive personnel development. Ongoing recruitment efforts are expensive and a drag on company resources. As such, if you are looking for talented, loyal employees, it’s important to instill a company culture that has applicants clamoring for a position with your team. More importantly, once employees are a part of that team, you’ll find that your positive culture will keep them working enthusiastically behind their desk.

Over the course of the past 20 years, human resources departments have noted emerging trends in this area. Indeed, employers are noticing that new staff hires are unlikely to hold their positions for longer than a couple of years, and according to the United States Department of Labor, more than 25% of American workers have held their current position for less than a year.

Owing to the costs associated with hiring new employees, many businesses have leaned into a more productive process that introduces the new worker to their new environment in the hopes that a stronger bond will be formed between employees and companies.

How to Start Building a Culture That Builds Your Team

Most employees know whether they will be willing to make a long-term commitment to a firm within the first six months of employment. As such, a carefully planned onboarding program takes advantage of this time to connect with new employees on an ongoing basis, with the goal that within that six-month timeframe, the new employee will feel fully “onboard” in terms of the company’s culture, goals, and ambitions.

Recent studies conducted by the Aberdeen Group show a correlation between high retention rates and well-implemented onboarding programs. In short, companies that buy into efficient onboarding programs have employees who buy into the company. Indeed, the study noted that a successful program led to successful employees, with 62% showing higher ratios between time spent and productivity, while 54% of managers reported higher levels of engagement among their team members.

Some of those advantages include:

  • Reduced turnover
  • Accelerated performance
  • Established team trust
  • Shortened time to productivity

Onboarding is more than a tactical solution to stemming employee turnover; it is a strategic decision to utilize the full range of an employee’s talents over the long term, and forward-thinking companies are quickly adopting it as a solution to a mobile and restive workforce.

Trust, Push, and Support Your Employees

For some reason, hiring managers have a tendency to suborn their employees’ career path to the dictates of the firm’s needs, and so the notion of developing a cogent employee development plan often falls by the wayside as soon as employees’ W-2s and I-9s have been filed away.

This is a mistake. According to a 2013 article in Forbes, “Helping your employees shape the future direction of their careers is a critical component to your company’s overall success.”

The failure to put together a professional development plan and empower company culture may alienate a talented workforce that is not fully devoted to the concept of lifelong employment with a single company. Employees demonstrate this fact by following their own development plan, even if that means hopping from job to job in search of that fulfillment.

Empowering Employees Shows Results

According to the Forbes article, staff development — and building a positive and empowering company culture — offers an array of advantages to the forward-thinking management team:

•           Building Loyalty — when an employee feels that they have “skin in the game,” they come to understand that the company’s success begets their own success. Building a company culture that encourages loyalty in your employees results in thriving employees. As such, devoting professional development resources to their success is an excellent way of building company loyalty.

•           The Personal Touch — people respond well when someone takes a genuine interest in their future and trusts their judgment. Extending this fact of human nature into the workplace is a great way to establish a mutual sense of loyalty and respect.

•           Employee Retention — talented people rarely like to rest on their laurels; they tend to pursue meaningful opportunities for career advancement when they arise. Employees who are likely to shine are attracted to a firm with a strong sense of company culture that works on the premise that a rising tide raises all ships. Fostering a culture that ensures that all voices are heard in a way that benefits both the employee and the company is crucial to employee retention. In short, empowering your employees begins by understanding their worth, respecting their expertise, and giving them the broadest possible field to develop their talents.

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Written by BBB Staff

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