Your Employees have the Potential to be a Key Driver for Growth
In the ever-evolving landscape of the business world, one constant remains unchanged: people are the backbone of any organization. Employees have the potential to be not just a valuable resource, but a key driver for business growth. However, realizing this potential and harnessing it effectively is often easier said than done.
In this blog, we explore the common barriers that prevent companies from leveraging their workforce to drive growth, and discuss the strategies you can employ to empower your people for growth in today’s competitive era.
The Power of People
A company’s success is intricately linked to the contributions of its employees. They are the ones who drive innovation, deliver quality products and services, and maintain strong customer relationships. When employees are engaged, motivated, and aligned with the company’s goals, they become a potent force for business growth.
Market statistics corroborate the importance of employee engagement and its impact on growth. According to a Gallup poll, engaged employees are 17% more productive and 21% more profitable than their disengaged counterparts. Furthermore, companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share.
Common Barriers and Strategies to Empower People for Growth
Despite the compelling evidence for the potential of a motivated and engaged workforce, many companies face common barriers that hinder their ability to leverage their employees for growth. Here are some of the most prevalent ones and strategies you can implement to remove them:
Employee engagement remains a significant challenge. A 2022 Gallup report found that only 34% of employees in the United States are engaged in their work. This disengagement can lead to lower productivity and hinder a company’s growth potential.
You should invest in creating a culture of engagement. Regular feedback, recognition, and opportunities for professional development can boost employee morale and commitment. Airbnb, for example, regularly seeks feedback from employees and incorporates it into company decisions, fostering a culture of engagement.
Effective leadership is critical for fostering growth. Poor leadership can create a toxic work environment that discourages employees from contributing their best. Ineffective managers who fail to provide direction and support can demotivate their teams and hamper growth.
Consider prioritizing leadership development programs and ensure that your managers are not just proficient in their roles but also skilled at motivating and empowering their teams.
Collaboration & Communication
Organizational silos and communication barriers can restrain innovation and collaboration. When employees and departments are isolated from each other, it becomes challenging to share ideas and work together effectively. Likewise, very large teams, if not managed well, can prevent individuals to shine.
Encourage cross-functional collaboration and remove silos or other barriers that hinder innovation. Amazon’s “two-pizza rule” is an excellent example of allowing employees to be heard. According to Jeff Bezos, no meeting should be so large that two pizzas can’t feed the whole group. This is, of course, a shorthand method for ensuring that, as is often the case with big groups, no one’s ideas get drowned out.
Resistance to Change
Change is a constant in today’s business environment, and employees who resist change can impede growth efforts. This resistance can manifest in various forms, from reluctance to adopt new technologies to opposition to strategic shifts.
Create a culture that welcomes change and innovation. Encourage employees to share their ideas and provide them with the resources and support they need to bring these ideas to fruition. Google’s “20% time” policy, where employees are allowed to dedicate a fifth of their working hours to personal projects, has led to innovations like Gmail.
Training and Development
Without proper training and development opportunities, employees may not have the skills and knowledge required to drive business growth. Companies need to invest in their employees’ professional growth to stay competitive.
Prioritize the training and development of your workforce. Offer opportunities for upskilling and reskilling to ensure employees have the necessary skills to contribute to growth. AT&T, for example, invests heavily in employee development and offers tuition assistance for continuous learning.
Peter Drucker, influential Austrian-American author, mentor and consultant said “What gets measured gets managed”. Unclear expectations, blurred career paths and lack of visibility to one’s impact can be very demotivating and disorienting.
Establish performance metrics that reward employees for their contributions to business growth. Bonuses, promotions, and other incentives tied to growth can motivate employees to actively participate in the company’s success.
In today’s competitive business environment, employees are not just a resource but a key driver for growth. By promoting employee engagement, nurturing effective leadership, breaking down silos, embracing change and innovation, investing in training and development, and measuring and rewarding growth contributions, you can empower your people to become active participants in driving business growth. In doing so, you position themselves for success in an era where people are the ultimate differentiator in the marketplace.