Just a few years ago this concept would be anathema to anyone running a company. Let your employees grow? What would you then do to maintain the company running? Where would you get more employees that are needed to do the job?
Fortunately, we see things differently today. We have come to understand that as our employees grow so does our company. Happy employees make things happen, attract more customers, their productivity increases, and the quality of the products or services are better. Happy customers mean more referrals.
Creating an environment where employees can thrive and grow is not something impossible nor does it have to be expensive, it may not even require any investment for specialized training. It is the experience of this writer that given an opportunity most people will rise to the challenge and provide ideas that would benefit their coworkers and the company, and in the rare occasion that the person does not rise to the occasion it is due to lack of self-confidence. Perhaps this person was criticized all his formative years, the medicine in this case is to encourage and promote good faith with the employee by asking for his/her opinion, and when given make the employee feel part of the team.
Creating an environment in which our employees can thrive and grow takes dedication and a firm commitment to the concept, it is not something that can be achieved overnight. It takes an open mind and an open management style where the manager becomes more a leader than a dictator.
To create an environment that promotes growth is as simple as listening to the employees in what makes them feel accepted and valued, then you will see your company grow as your employees grow. Your customers will be more satisfied with your products or services and will then provide you with the best kind of advertisement there is, word of mouth and customer satisfaction.
One method I used was to start opening the weekly staff meeting with the words “Good morning, welcome to your meeting, this is not my meeting, it is yours, to provide input and ideas in how we can serve our client better.” By the third meeting the team had begun to provide input on their projects and ideas they had to improve the area in general, it was a huge success. Our client went from a position where they wanted to cancel our contract to a renewal not for three years, but five years. The employees had grown and made the company grow.
Our main goal as business owners is to grow and improve our company, do it the smart way, get your employees on the train to success and growth.