It’s a Wednesday afternoon, and you have been in the same job for what seems to have been 3,000 years.
You’re sitting at your desk calculating the hours by minutes and the minutes by seconds, impatiently waiting for the clock to turn 5 pm, so you can be anywhere else, apart from work. We’ve all been there and hit “like” on every single relatable Facebook meme along the way.
When in this predicament have you ever stopped to think, ‘what would make this job more enjoyable for me?’ Let’s be real, Cadbury doesn’t hand out taste testing jobs every day so it’s unlikely you will ever have the perfect role, but there are ways to make your current position better. My guess is the first word that popped into your head was something like money, dough, dosh, cha-ching! But is this really the main driving factor? When you reach the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, will you be happy?
Although you may think earning enough money to make it rain on the regular is the only thing that’s going to make your life so much better, research shows otherwise. The 2017 study by Work Institute on Employee Retention found the main driving factor for employees kicking their employer to the curb, was career development at a whopping 22%. In fact, this was the highest ranked motivating factor with compensation and benefits coming in at only 9%.
Now take a step back and think about this from a manager or leader’s perspective. As a leader, while you can’t hold your employees’ hands and it is up to them to show initiative to be developed, are you doing everything as a mentor to empower your staff? One of the best ways to empower and motivate employees is through better delegation.
Take, for example, you are extremely busy and have an important project or task sitting in your to-do folder. It has been lingering now for longer than desired, and there is no solid plan of action to date. In this situation you have two options; leave the task in your to-do folder until you are ready for it, or delegating it to one of your beloved minions. If you are a leader that sits back thinking “it’s just so much quicker to complete this myself then to train someone how to do it” then it is likely you chose option one. If you did select option one, then you aren’t making the most of your team, their skills and their willingness to develop their career.
Great leaders are those who do not focus on the “day-to-day” menial tasks or micro-manage their employees. They are the ones who step back, look at the bigger picture and trust their staff to take on new responsibility. Like any human, your employees are likely to make mistakes along the way as they take on new projects, but this is how they will learn and grow. Leaders invest time in their employees, understand their skill set and build upon their strengths. In turn, these types of leaders are rewarded with a loyal, trustworthy and empowered team.
It is proven empowering your staff, not only results in great working relationships but a reputable culture. According to Forbes Magazine, company culture is the living and breathing aspect of your business. A great culture is not something you can simply ask for and receive. It is a direct result of the values you strive for and the behaviours you and your employees permeate.
Employee empowerment is considered one, if not the most powerful strategy to encourage. According to Talent Culture, it can significantly increase profitability and improve the customer experience. In turn, this can lead to higher brand retention and the mother of all jackpots; brand loyalty.
So why do so many companies and leaders overlook the importance of delegating and mentoring, especially when disempowered employees, lead to frustration and disengagement, and quite frequently, a high staff turnover? Most commonly it’s because we are so busy managing our own workload and making tight deadlines we forget about others around us. However, if we were to take a breather and re-evaluate our projects based on our employees’ skills and potential development opportunities, then not only could we be making the most of our team, but our operations would be more efficient, and more deadlines would be met.
Where are you to go from here? If your attrition statistics are looking a little higher than desired, one simple thing you can do is review how your leaders, management and supervisors delegate, are they making the most of their teams? What if you are an employee who is feeling undervalued, untrusted and unhappy? Well, I don’t have all the answers, but if you ask me, the bright shiny dollar signs are no comparison to an entrepreneurial, fun loving environment where differences are accepted, and leadership is encouraged.