How to Encourage Your Employees to Contribute More to the Company’s Vision
Your employees aren’t just cogs in a machine, and you shouldn’t be treating them as if they are.
Many companies find success by empowering their employees at every level. For instance, Google has a policy of allowing its employees to work on whatever interests them for about 20 percent of their work week. Products like Gmail and Google Sky are the result of the tech giant’s “20 percent” policy, which encourages employees’ contributions.
In addition to providing direct benefits to a business, encouraging employee contributions also leads to happier workers. Research has shown dissatisfied workers cost businesses hundreds of millions of dollars each year, while happy workers have been found to be 12 percent more productive than the average worker, according to a study from the Social Market Foundation.
Below are a few ways you can help your employees contribute more, and make them happier in the process.
Encourage boundary-crossing collaboration
If your company is a sizeable one, there are probably many employees who never interact with each other during a typical week. When you think about it, there’s no need for these artificial barriers to exist and they can get in the way of some great collaborative ideas.
Cross-training and interdepartmental meetings are great ways to bring people together to share ideas.
Allow for risk taking
There is an inherent risk in taking on a new idea. Sometimes a new idea succeeds, and sometimes it fails. However, that doesn’t mean a risk isn’t worth taking.
Like not swinging at a wild pitch, even the smallest successes can make a contribution. Employees at every level of your organization need the chance to achieve success by having their ideas heard and possibly implemented.
Even failed ideas can be valuable. Employees need to see their ideas that don’t work as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Risk taking also encourages responsibility. Whether it is a team idea or an individual one, people must take responsibility for its success or failure. This is a low-stakes way for your company to encourage employees to take responsibility for their decisions and actions.
Google’s 20 Percent policy isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Engineers aren’t commanded that they must pursue a passion project for two hours a day or one day a week. The policy is a recommendation and nothing more.
Giving employees flexibility and freedom means you aren’t sacrificing productivity for the sake of innovation. It also means employees have more control over how their day goes.
Encourage collaboration and innovation by trying to set up events or set aside time during the week. However, making these things mandatory undercuts the free-flowing creative culture you should be trying to grow. That culture not only leads to innovations, it also makes for happier employees.
At LTI Services, we support business innovation through custom staffing solutions and managed services. Contact our team of experts today if you would like to learn more about how these services can help your company develop its next big idea.