Treat Employees like Adults
Netflix are well known for their initiatives to give their employees autonomy. They focus on intention and actions to empower their employees. In their culture outline, they state:
“There are companies where people walk by trash on the floor in the office, leaving it for someone else to pick it up, and there are companies where people lean down to pick up the trash they see, as they would at home. We try hard to be the latter, a company where everyone feels a sense of responsibility to do the right thing to help the company at every juncture.
We believe that people thrive on being trusted, on freedom, and on being able to make a difference. So we foster freedom and empowerment wherever we can.”
This may not be the culture that you’re accustomed to, but you can make it happen. Flexibility and responsibility are both key for employee engagement, and this will definitely make a splash with your employees. Test out flexible working hours, fewer management checks, additional holidays or mental health days, and less restrictive dress codes.
While you might be accustomed to softening the blow of feedback or stepping around placing accountability, this isn’t the best way to deal with important issues. Instead, communicate directly with those that you lead and let them know when their behaviours need to be changed.
Often co-workers prefer the direct approach, as long as the feedback is warranted and constructive. 57% of employees prefer corrective feedback, compared to 43% that want solely positive feedback and praise, according to a study by Harvard Business Review.
This is also fairer to your employee, as they can take proactive steps to improve rather than jeopardising their professional reputation by continuing with problematic behaviour.
Meetings should also have a clear direction, specific actions and only involve the relevant people. A recent investigation has found that the average employee in the UK wastes 13 working days each year in unproductive meetings.
Communicate directly and don’t waste your workers’ time!