One of the most valuable resources you can have as a business owner is a committed employee. Employees who are devoted to their jobs work harder, stick around longer, and gain more skills. When your business has committed employees, retention increases, training and hiring costs decrease, and your business functions a lot more smoothly. You can increase employee commitment in your company by trusting, by being trustworthy, by encouraging individuality, and by creating a blame-free company culture.
Trusting Your Employees
If your employees feel like you don’t trust them, they will never feel committed to your company. To demonstrate that you trust your employees, avoid the temptation of micromanaging them. Show them that you trust them to get the job done right by themselves. You should also avoid policies that treat them like children, such as requiring a doctor’s note if they call out sick. You can even show them you trust them by asking for their input on company decisions that could affect them.
Being Trusted by Your Employees
Most employees think that bosses who can be trusted are rare. Therefore, if your employees trust you they are much more likely to stay loyal to your company rather than take their chances with a new boss. However, trust has to be earned. To get your employees to trust you, you have to show them that you are worthy of their trust. A part of this is making yourself visible to your employees. Go out and walk the floor regularly. Show them that you take an interest in how the company actually works. You should also be approachable. Make sure your employees feel comfortable coming to you with questions and problems. If you really listen to them they will come to feel they can trust you. Finally, you should never ask one of your employees to do anything that you wouldn’t do yourself. If, for example, you need them to stay late, then stay late yourself too. If you do, your employees will feel like you treat them fairly, and this encourages trust.
If your employees feel like mindless drones they will always be looking out for a better place to work. If you encourage them to do things their own way, to be who they really are, they will be much more invested in your company. Try not to over-regulate how things get done. Let your employees figure out how they can best do their jobs their own way, within reason. Also, you should let your employees personalize their workspaces or uniforms in small ways. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it can make a big difference to your employees.
Creating a Blame-Free Company Culture
One of the biggest mistakes a manager can make is to assign blame and hand out punishments whenever something goes wrong. This approach encourages your employees to be more concerned about covering their own behinds than doing their jobs. Instead, you should approach mistakes as learning opportunities. When something goes wrong, make it your policy to investigate and use the findings to improve your work process. When you approach mistakes in this fashion, your employees can put their minds on their jobs and take the kinds of risks that can help your company grow. They will also feel like they can really trust you.
If your employees feel trusted, valued, and able to be themselves, they will come to feel like they are really a part of the company. They will feel that when the company succeeds, so will they. These are the employees who will stick around for the long haul.