Most experts agree that how we work has changed significantly over the last few decades, so does the management style of your business reflect that?
How your organisation manages its staff is crucial when it comes to employee happiness and productivity. This is especially so as the percentage of the workforce made up by millennials (and Gen Z) grows and younger employees rise through the leadership ranks.
Put simply, what a new generation of employees want has changed, and outdated management practices or leadership style could be a reason for good people to leave. Here are some questions to ask to see if your business is too old school for a new decade.
“Do we put too much focus on physical presence?”
It used to be that if your staff weren’t in the office, they weren’t working. Now many employees expect to be able to have the option to work flexibly from home for at least a portion of their working week (if it’s logistically possible for that business).
Advances in cloud computing and remote technology mean that virtual working can often be as productive as time spent in the office (in fact, we discussed reasons why it could boost your business in a blog post, here).
The concept of measuring physical presence rather than the results someone is able to bring to their role - no matter when or where they work - is also past its expiry date.
“Do we expect salary and benefits alone to cut it?”
Of course, money motivates people to come to work every day - and workplace perks and benefits play a crucial part in the whole talent retention package. But are they incentive enough to encourage people to do their best?
Chatting to job candidates at HR GO, we find there are things that motivate employees just as much – and perhaps more - than money. This wish list includes a positive workplace culture and feeling part of a team or community. What also counts is the knowledge that someone is growing and developing both professionally and personally. Feeling genuinely appreciated and valued for doing a good job are both important, too.
“Do we value employees as whole people?”
More and more job hunters we speak to at HR GO talk about wanting to work somewhere that helps them grow and thrive as individuals - not just move up the career ladder.
In the modern workplace, this makes it crucial for your business to put a focus on personal development. That could mean making sure everyone is trained on not just the things needed to do their job, but also soft skills that are transferable for their next move.
Savvy employers also encourage their staff to have interests or pastimes - and respect any that are important to them. That might be a hobby, a voluntary project or a money making gig they’re involved in on the side (as long as they don’t clash with the day job, of course).
Acknowledging that you employ ‘whole’ people rather than just workers - and paying almost as much attention to personal growth as professional growth - will lead to a more productive and fulfilled team as a whole.
“Do we welcome employees’ input?”
The old model of ‘top-down’ leadership has had its day. Employees want to be able to collaborate with management, rather than simply obey them. It’s no longer suitable for businesses to make important decisions without at least seeking employees’ input.
Chances are your business already communicates its successes. But aim to give your workforce an understanding of the challenges it’s facing, too.
And if there are any key decisions to be made, big goals to be set or major changes coming up, welcome their input and suggestions - and actually listen to their responses.
Even asking for honest feedback on how they feel the business can be improved is a good step. This all makes staff more likely to feel engaged with their job and with the company – and want to stay as loyal members of your team.
Stepping up your game
Clinging to traditional ways of working won’t do you any favours when it comes to creating a team to take you into the future – and nor will it keep your workers happy so they don’t leave. Our advice? Welcome to a new decade, and a new way of working.