Attitudes and behaviors are largely determined by how employees feel about the person they work for, and the employee training they've received from the company. If you treat employees like they’re disposable, they’re likely to return the favor.
If you invest the time and effort to treat them like valued employees, then they’ll feel empowered to invest the time and effort to build a career with your business.
Here are three do's and don’ts for successfully dealing with your employees to empower them.
Do: Keep it Personal
Convey important information regarding their employment in person. If you can’t do it yourself, have a manager or supervisor handle the conversation. This goes especially for the tough stuff like firing, transferring, demoting, or laying off an employee; have the guts to tell them to their face. This also goes for what should be the easy stuff like complimenting on a great job, helping out with an order or coming in on their day off.
Don’t: Phone it in
Employers have gotten lazy about communicating with employees. They rely on email, text messages, and phone calls to deliver news that really should be handled in person. Unless there are extreme circumstances (the employee is a perceived threat, they’ve created a workplace disruption, etc.), there’s no reason you can’t personally deliver the news—good or bad.
Do: Utilize their Potential
Keep your employees engaged and motivated by giving them more challenging tasks and greater responsibilities. Boredom and laziness are contagious habits. If you breed them into one of your employees, more are likely to follow. An employee who feels like he’s wasting his time at your business is right—one way or the other.
Don’t: Expect the Impossible
If you’re doing your hiring and employee training correctly, you should have a good idea what an employee is capable of before they hit the floor. Don’t expect them to have skills and training that aren’t in their resume unless you’ve provided them with proper employee training.
Do: Communicate Clearly
Don’t expect your employees to be able to guess what you want. Lay out your goals, and their responsibilities, clearly and frequently. Your business is like a ship—it’s your job to set a heading and make course corrections as often as necessary.Otherwise you'll end up on the shoals begging for help - mistaking hefty discounts as a lifesaver, then discovering them as an anchor to unprofitability.
Don’t: Pile it On
Don’t overwhelm your employees with constant changes to your standards and practices. New is fun for customers; not employees. Keep your course corrections small and manageable or make one dramatic change like adding the best retail sales training program. Otherwise the constant rocking may knock valuable employees overboard.
The reason you want to empower your employees is simple, the more respected the employee feels, the more confident the employee feels about doing their job. That always translates into higher sales, lower turnover and more profits.