According to organizations like Gallup, employee engagement is a key driver of business growth. There’s a well-established connection, in fact, between employee motivation and better performance outcomes in productivity, customer ratings, and profitability.
But the opposite is also known to be true: growth opportunities in the workplace boost employee engagement! So, to make the most of this circular success formula, here’s what you need to consider when creating a growth culture.
Why Your Business Should Be Providing Growth Opportunities
Businesses that find ways to engage their employees perform better than companies that don’t. Gallup’s ongoing research describes how organizations with the highest levels of employee engagement also experience:
- 22% more profitability,
- 37% less absenteeism, and
- 25%-65% (depending on the industry) less staff turnover
But how to motivate a largely unmotivated workforce?
Management experts suggest that creating a growth culture is one of the most effective ways to attract, engage, and retain employees. Not only can financial, personal, and professional growth opportunities motivate your staff to perform better, they frequently offer substantial payback at little to no cost to your business.
How to Motivate Greater Employee Achievement
It’s widely recognized that employees are more engaged when their work environment is conducive to growth. Is your business doing all it can to create a culture that inspires greater achievement?
The more doors your company props open in terms of internal and external hiring practices, employee mentorship, and career development policies, the more likely you are to entice and encourage a hard-working team.
Personal and professional growth opportunities come in all shapes and sizes - but there’s one thing they all have in common. By benefitting your employees, they ultimately benefit your organization.
Let’s look at three key areas where you can incentivize your staff by focusing on what drives their performance.
Despite budget restrictions, your business can motivate employees by regularly reviewing and rewarding growth-driven accomplishments.
While most pay raises have little impact on motivation for example (unless they’re substantial), establishing a cash bonus system that’s tied to referrals, sales share, or profits is a proven way to recognize employee contributions that are helping your business to grow.
If bonuses won’t work for your business, consider offering employee recognition awards in the form of small-value gift cards - or service or safety awards in the form of tangible, personal property (like watches or plaques, for example).
This is a win-win way to delight your employees - and encourage better performance - with incentives that won’t trigger a tax liability at their end, and that your business can most likely expense.
Many of today’s employees are looking to sign on with companies they believe will foster their personal growth. As a result, more organizations are taking steps to promote:
- Team building activities and social events,
- Mentorship programs founded on diversity and inclusion, and
- Positive reinforcement through public recognition for a job well done
Providing your staff with a productive workspace and the technology they need to carry out their duties efficiently can also go a long way toward ramping up employee engagement.
Millennials in particular – as the demographic comprising the nation’s largest working population – are primed to perform better in a digital work environment. And taking advantage of their electronic literacy can prove a real boon to your business!
But while millennials dominate, ours is still a multigenerational workforce. And that can mean a lot of confusion for business owners trying to get the most from a wide range of staff.
Just remember that motivating personnel from different generations to share knowledge, shoulder responsibility, and work effectively together as a group is often as simple as making time to sit down and listen to them as individuals.
No matter what type of business you run, creating a growth culture that makes room for professional development will help you gain and hang onto great talent.
Any employee worth hiring is apt to be looking for ways to improve their skills and broaden their knowledge through ongoing training or education. But even if yours is a small, location-based business with limited (or non-existent) opportunities for advancement, you can still keep staff excited about coming to work every day.
Research suggests, for example, that assigning and updating job titles matters to employees. Defining a team member’s evolving role with the right job title can:
- Positively influence their behavior,
- Reduce stress and burnout, and
- Increase their job satisfaction and professional commitment
There’s also an enormous amount of motivational power behind policies that allow your employees to communicate and celebrate daily victories with one other – no matter how small those wins are.
Trusting your staff with an expanding roster of responsibilities – and establishing ways to share professional success as a team – is a low-cost, high-impact way to start creating a growth culture for your small business.
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