Follow almost any form of news and you are bound to hear about the latest and greatest technological advances being made. Headline after headline touts the “next great thing” that is going to transform your life.
Major news corporations usually cover products intended for personal use, but industry news publications share developments in business-related technology. In the health care industry, for example, the ‘trending’ technological advances have been the creation and implementation of electronic medical records and many online resources to help make hospitals paperless.
As leaders, we are challenged to keep up with technology introductions and stay current with technological standards as advancements are made. But according to MediaPost contributor Jason Heller, the “role of technology in our endeavors is only as valuable as the insights, strategies, creativity and oversight provided by our people.” With all of the news coverage given and strategic discussions held regarding technology, it can be easy to lose sight of the most valuable asset within organizations: people.
Every employee, no matter his or her rank, responsibilities, or number of years with the company, has the ability to make a direct impact on your business. They can affect productivity, customer service, growth, even your bottom line.
So the questions to consider are: How are you investing in your greatest asset? How is that investment reflected?
There are several ways to nurture talented employees to increase their satisfaction while also investing in your organization’s future.
Purpose: Employee commitment is driven by a feeling of purpose within the organization. By making sure each employee understands how his or her role contributes to organizational objectives and goals, you can develop this sense of purpose.
Connection: According to Kristin Kaufman, founder of Alignment, Inc., a consultancy for corporate coordination, “creating an environment where people are truly valued as the company’s greatest asset starts with the individual.” This means that it is your responsibility to make the people who report to you feel both valued and connected to the organization. Get to know your employees, take an interest in their lives and find out what their aspirations are, what motivates them; this will help you to better personalize their goals, incentives and overall experience with the company. The best way to successfully engage your team is to have a good understanding of them on a personal level.
Advancement: For many employees, promotions and advancement are among the things they would like to list as professional accomplishments. On the employer side, finding the "right place" for your "right people" to exercise their strengths leads to mutual long-term success. Invest in your employees and the future of your organization by helping employees develop a career path, encourage continued training and education, pair promising individuals with a tenured employee in a mentor program, and so on. All of these things will help people to grow in their current role while also preparing for future ones. Drive employee loyalty by helping them picture a future with your company; this will help you retain top talent, a key to the success of any business.
Recognition: A 2010 survey conducted by a top talent management software company found that apart from compensation and benefits, feeling appreciated motivates employees and makes them more likely to stay with an organization. Remember to say thank you and give praise where praise is due. Don’t underestimate the value of showing appreciation to your employees for their efforts.
- Empowerment: One of the best ways to empower employees is to give them the opportunity to be heard and actually listened to. Involve employees on projects and decisions at every opportunity; seek their opinions when changing company policies or procedures. The more involved an employee feels at your company, the more dedicated they’ll be to contributing to future company growth. A recent article in BusinessWeek advises empowering employees to deliver strategic value to your organization as this will enhance what is truly your greatest asset.
Focus on making improvements in these areas, and you can develop a satisfied workforce that feels valued. You are bound to see great returns from this investment.
- Bill Leaver