An organization that is performing at the highest level is made up of employees who are also performing at the top of their game. But, in a day and age when many businesses are trying to deal with issues like how to keep people from “quiet quitting,” motivating your employees to give their best may feel like a mere pipe dream. The secret to cultivating an all-star team is not about demanding more from your employees – it’s about demanding more from leadership.
At Vector, we are committed to a culture that supports and empowers our workforce. After all, an empowered employee is a motivated employee. In fact, organizations that report having engaged personnel see a 19% increase in profitability and boast higher retention rates, fewer work-related accidents, and better overall health outcomes for workers. For example, at Vector Solutions, in 2023, we have seen a year-over-year employee retention rate increase of 19% from last year, and we continue to strive to improve those rates.
Reinvigorate Your Team to Drive Success
Company culture is driven by mission and values. Employees who feel disconnected from “the why” behind “the what” will never be able to perform at their best. This may happen for a variety of reasons including an insufficient onboarding process, unhealthy workplace culture, career development stagnation, and the tension that can come from the flexibility of a hybrid work schedule and a team that is almost never in the same location together.
Here is how you can overcome these and other common difficulties to help reinvigorate and empower your team – allowing you to better serve your customers in the process.
5 Ways to Empower Your Workforce
Never Skimp on the Essentials
At Vector, one of the most important things we do for our employees is foster a culture that is deeply connected to our mission of serving everyday heroes so that they can make safer, smarter, and better decisions. This means that your mission has to be more than just an aspirational statement that’s plastered across your website and print materials.
Throughout the employee onboarding process, during regular one-on-one check-ins, in company-wide conversations, by conducting climate surveys, and more, you must ensure that you are continually re-aligning your company goals with your company’s true north. Ultimately, engagement is about connection and when your employees are connected to your organizational mission, they are working as partners with you in carrying out that mission. And everyone wins in the process – particularly your customers.
Leverage Learning & Development
A team of people who are only going through the motions in their job each day are often bored and disengaged from how they fit into the larger picture of your company. But helping your employees identify and pursue a real career path can make all the difference in the world in how they feel about getting out of bed to come to work in the morning.
According to LinkedIn Learning’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career. This means that regular professional learning and development opportunities – and the time to take advantage of them – will help give your workforce greater purpose and direction, empowering them to work harder to pursue your organizational mission.
Offer Employee Resource Groups
Empowered employees feel heard and understood – and this often requires effective efforts in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. No matter your company size, developing an effective DEI infrastructure can be difficult to achieve. Something often called Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can be an excellent option to help everyone at your company flourish.
ERGs (or whatever your company chooses to call them) are groups where employees can connect with other people who share similar social or cultural backgrounds, have related interests, identify with the same groups or minority groups, and more. They can serve as a perfect outlet to connect your team with other like-minded coworkers and to empower them to voice their needs, as well as to help them foster ideas that can improve your company culture and work product.
Drive Social Impact
We almost can’t overstate the importance of giving your employees the opportunity to give back. According to their Millennial Employee Engagement Study, 64% of millennials would refuse to even take a job if their employer doesn’t have a strong corporate social responsibility policy, while 83% of millennials say they are more likely to be loyal to a company if that company helps them contribute to social and environmental causes that matter to them.
Many companies may offer incentives for volunteering, corporate matching opportunities for charitable donations, or have established relationships with specific nonprofits. For instance, at Vector, we launched our own initiative called Vector Cares, combining our technology and capabilities to serve our communities with complimentary online courses on critical topics that promote social awareness and serve as a resource for individuals who want to make their organizations and communities a better place.
Complete Regular Performance Evaluations
A performance management system is an impactful way to ensure that your employees understand how they are performing and whether or not they are missing the mark. Clear and transparent feedback and employee training that both recognizes exemplary efforts and also identifies areas that may need improvement, approaching them with empathy and a vision for growth, can help empower your team.
By pinpointing potential problem areas before they spiral out of control, you have the opportunity to better integrate contrasting workstyles, boost lowered morale, and cultivate a team that is being set up for success. This is also an excellent way to help you identify any potential candidates for new roles or promotions, connecting the right people to the right positions at the right time.
Empowered Employees Live Out Your Values
At Vector, we pride ourselves in continuing to offer more opportunities for our employees to connect, grow, and give back. The success or failure of the efforts to empower your employees can often be seen in how long they choose to stay at your company. Consistent or improving retention rates are excellent indicators of a positive work culture.
Ultimately, empowered employees serve your customers at a higher level, so the burden is on you to create the processes and environment necessary to help your team thrive.