Every business wants to be able to create the type of strong corporate culture that attracts the best employees. However, this is much easier said than done as trying to keep all of your employees satisfied is nearly impossible. Managers all over the world are constantly searching for new ways to keep their staff motivated. But what might work for some people, may not work for others.
“Promotion and personal growth within an organization are the obvious alternatives to simple cash for labour, yet in so many employment situations there is little scope for either” says Alicia Miller, a speaker on corporate culture. “The range of tasks to be performed may be straightforward and the prospects for task variety or promotion may not be available.”
This scenario may well lead to high staff turnover as incumbents are inclined to leave the position either through boredom or frustration.
Empowering the Individual
In certain circumstances it may be that frequent staff changes have little impact on the job being performed. If so it may be more economical to fill the position on a temporary or contract basis, however most situations do benefit from the presence of a person familiar with the material and informational resources required to perform the task. In short, less time is wasted on resolving the questions of ‘who knows?’ and ‘where do I find?’
Engagement of the employee has been shown to be an effective method of improving individual performance and an important element in the process of employee empowerment is the provision of information and resources. Quite simply, the individual needs to know the employer expectations. This breaks down into –
- What is expected
- How to achieve the expected
- Where to find the tools to do the job
Lack of Process Definition Leads to Inefficiency
Too often such information is passed on from a more experienced employee in informal training or teaching sessions. While ‘shadowing someone who knows’ has much merit the employer has little control over the quality of intelligence passed down. Incorrect and mistaken assumptions are propagated and inefficiency flourishes within the team.
This shortfall can be overcome by encouraging employees to document the processes performed during the working day. Individuals must be allowed sufficient time to perform this task, but the act of analysis required lends each employee a sense of personal and role importance.
Obviously the quality of both the process and the documentation must be subject to supervision and control, therefore management time must also be allocated. This element should be incorporated into the routine one-to-one meeting where the cycle of employee engagement is completed.
The supervisor will identify from this method any
- Lack of employee understanding of what is expected
- Lack of knowledge in how to achieve the expected
- Lack of resource provided to the employee in order to achieve the expected.
Provision of resource and re-training can be allocated to correct any shortfall.
Ownership of Process Discovery
Process documentation needs to be completed for established tasks and for new tasks incorporated into each employee role. Discovery of new process method, new resource and new information by the individual in the course of employment becomes the property of the organization and documentation is then available for others in the event of change.