Build an Employee-Driven Workplace

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 19, 2011

Common thinking is that employees need to be controlled, managed, and monitored to ensure productivity. Smart small-business owners are adopting the employee-driven workplace philosophy that translates into dramatically lower turnover rates and training costs, high customer satisfaction, and greater profits. What are the ingredients for an employee-driven workplace?

1. Give up control. Many workplace decisions are made backwards, driven first by financial considerations. Just as no product is launched without "user" input, employees are best suited to make many work environment decisions. Open up financial and operational information and give employees the task of achieving innovative efficiencies.

2. Listen more. Talk with—not at—employees through interactive communications, rather than one-way updates. Then track employee engagement and satisfaction. More important, act on the findings. Avoid benefits and policies that aren’t based on research.


3. Accentuate the positive. Are your office policies built on a philosophy of restricting, controlling, and stopping behavior, or do they invest in ways to promote good behavior that drives business objectives?


4. Keep it real. The employee-driven workplace cannot be dictated or e-mailed into being. Many organizations have a culture that reads well on paper, but doesn’t perform in reality. Posters about teamwork mean nothing if teams aren’t rewarded and recognized.

The transition to an employee-driven workplace requires time, patience, and—yes, even money. Companies both small and large have done it. Remember, your brand is defined most strongly not by what you say, but by what your employees say and do. Without the support of employees, your brand will fail to deliver. With their support, not only will you deliver on your brand promise, but you will achieve strong financial success.

Christine Barney
Chief Executive Officer
Rbb Public Relations
Miami

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