Paternalistic, Autocratic, Democratic and Business leadership manuals are filled with those and several other common “boss” descriptions. However, one type seems to be on the rise: employee-centered. How can you spot worker-first executives and managers? They tend to be straightforward, transparent, and empathetic. They have truly open-door Employees Invest . They listen. Most of all, they give team members opportunities to make their future dreams a reality.
Interested in implementing an employee-centric environment? Depending on your current leadership leanings, you may need to make numerous changes. Don’t worry, though. You don’t have to overhaul your leadership style overnight. Instead, take it slow. Start by considering the following steps. Each is designed to help workers move forward confidently toward the lives they want to lead.
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1. Give them retirement security.
Even younger workers need to consider how they’ll fund their eventual retirement years. By providing a simple or Roth 401k, you’ll enable personnel to invest a percentage of their salary for later. It’s up to them how much they contribute, but they’ll appreciate having an automatic way to stash away cash.
Wondering if your firm is too tiny for a 401k that will interest your team? Seek out a small business 401k designed for companies that don’t have tons of full-timers on staff. Ideally, you’ll want to find one that offers employees digital account access. That way, they can watch their money grow without you having to do any extra paperwork or intervene.
2. Encourage and subsidize career training.
Even experts need to hone their skill sets, especially in an era with ever-changing consumer needs and brand expectations. Make sure everyone in your business stays on the leading edge through regular in-person or online classes as well as company-led learning sessions. For instance, you could subsidize learning so workers can custom-tailor their preferred workshops or certifications.
As employees become more proficient, ask them to share their newfound know-how with colleagues. This encourages collaboration and cross-pollination of knowledge. Plus, everyone in the office will get an upskill bump while the employee practices public speaking and teaching.
3. Provide employees with healthcare package options.
Healthcare is expensive, no doubt about it. Yet, so is having personnel who are too worried to visit a doctor, schedule an annual exam, or make a dental appointment. The last thing you want to hear about Employees Invest is that a worker experienced a health emergency because they didn’t get needed care or treatments.
Are you new to investigating healthcare choices for your business? It’s not as intimidating as it may seem. Shop around for quality healthcare plans designed specifically for your organization size, and perhaps industry. Most plan providers offer online quotes for interested employers. Others may ask you to fill out a request form in advance of an exploratory telephone call. Either way, get the information you need and prioritize offering healthcare to everyone on your payroll.
4. Be generous with paid time off.
Maybe you’re not quite ready to jump aboard the movement to offer unlimited vacation days to your employees. That’s understandable. It’s not for every company or leader. Nonetheless, you don’t have to follow the traditional “two weeks off” annual vacation ritual. Today, many employers are imagining new and different ways to give employees the time off they deserve.
Remember: Getting away from the office for a while is essential for employees invest to recharge and avoid burnout. If you haven’t dusted off your corporate vacation rules for a while, you need to give them a second look. Talk to your team about what they’d like in terms of personal time off. Their answers might surprise you. Based on their suggestions, you can explore ways to switch up vacation policies to reflect their needs.
5. Put succession plans into motion.
Many companies take succession planning seriously. The process goes something like this: Supervisors identify future leaders. The future leaders are groomed over time to facilitate a seamless transition. When the time is right, they move into their new positions—and add important titles to their resumes.
Think about the people on your staff. Who has the talent, ability, and potential interest to move into a position of greater power? What skills would that person need to improve upon to make a promotion feasible? After pinpointing tomorrow’s potential leaders, arrange a conversation to find out if you’re on the same page. If you are, you may want to establish a formal or informal mentoring process for on-the-job training and a smooth (eventual) transition.
6. Upgrade your tech stack regularly.
Does the technology you use matter to your employees’ future? It could, especially if you’re forcing them to work with outdated legacy systems. By not adapting to the latest advancements, you’re keeping your team from upping their skill sets. At the same time, you’re limiting your organization’s productivity by not taking advantage of AI-enhanced automation or cloud-based project tools.
To begin improving your tech stack, ask key team members for suggestions on different types of software and solutions. Some employees might have worked with certain products before. Others have probably heard of several top brands. There’s no risk in setting up a free trial and seeing which ones are perfect for your crew.
7. Empower workers to act and think like entrepreneurs.
“If I were in charge, I’d…” Most of your workers have uttered this phrase. Unfortunately, you’ll probably never hear it from them. And they’ll never share their inner thoughts until you empower them to make bold changes (within parameters, of course.)
Handing out authority raises to staffers tells them you trust them and Employees Invest with them. It also encourages them to think like company leaders, not just workers. Yes, you’ll need to set boundaries. (You don’t want someone buying expensive machinery on a whim or firing a colleague.) Still, you should begin to see interesting developments as employees take calculated risks and solve nagging issues. Ultimately, your willingness to let go of the reins will enable workers to flex and grow their business muscles.
Becoming a more employee-centered leader won’t happen in a few days. But rest assured that as you reframe your leadership decisions and actions, you’ll see positive changes in your team. Most of all, you’ll know that you’ve contributed positively to your team members’ future development and security.