Thursday, June 1, 2023

Enable, Empower, Evolve: How Business Leaders Can Support Employee Goals and Transform Their Workplace

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If you don’t create a great rewarding place for people to work, they don’t do great work” – Ari Weinzweig.

The one feature that most great organisations and business ventures of the world share are that they are amazing work environments. They hire highly skilled and highly motivated resources and help empower them. As a result, employees in these organisations wake up excited to go to work and take immense pride in their contribution to the success of their brand. This means that your employees’ personal and professional goals are aligned with the organisation’s business goals. So, as a corporate leaders, what can you do to support your employees and their goals? Let’s take a look.

  • Look beyond organisational goalposts – One of the greatest challenges faced by most business leaders, particularly new entrepreneurs, is looking beyond the business plan and organisational goals. It is easy to get lost in the day-to-day targets and the fiscal bottom line and forget to look at the individuals who make it happen. A successful business strategist will put a lot of time and effort into hiring people with the right skills and those who will grow with the organisation. By focusing on these employees and helping them both learn and contribute, you have laid a solid foundation for organisational growth.
  • Growth planning – According to a recent report, nearly 63% of employees quit because of a lack of growth. So as a business leader, while you may be busy planning for the growth and development of your organisation, it is also important to consider the individual growth plans of the employees. Long-term business leaders plan for their own, the organisation’s, and employee growth. The annual review may be a good time to communicate openly with the employees and chart a growth path that is consistent and in sync with the organisation’s own trajectory. 
  • Empower them to be innovative – One of the best ways to support employees and their goals is to encourage them to be innovative. In this tech-powered digital world, it is important to upskill regularly and harness the power of innovative thinking at work. Sanjiv Bajaj, the Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Finserv and the President of CII (2022-2023), uses the mantra, “think like a business owner”. By encouraging every employee to take ownership of their products, processes, and services, he has transformed Bajaj Finserv into the largest and most popular NBFC. This is also why Bajaj Finserv comes up with digital and tech features that transform how millions access and use financial products in the country.
  • Celebrate achievements and setbacks – In several organisations, failure, setbacks, and adversities are taboo. Some of the successful business leaders of India, such as Kumar Mangalam Birla, teach employees not to fear failure. As Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, he believes that learning lessons from setbacks and reacting to adversities makes better leaders. This helps employees assess risks better, and make-well considered leaps to leverage innovation. Failure is not fatal, as the saying goes. It is only by learning from failures that employees will achieve their own and the organisation’s goals.
  • Make movement fluid – One of the most significant reasons employees feel boxed in is the lack of movement or opportunity to explore their passions. Allowing employees to shadow other departments, apply for other positions within the organisation, and take on mini-projects that interest them can be a great way to discover their skills and passions and use them to chalk their career path in the organisation. Your HR manager may be an exemplary coder by night; your warehouse supervisor may be a natural at sales; your accounts intern may be great with marketing and research.

Being the best business entrepreneur does not mean only looking at organisational goals and growth. Instead, it comes from caring for the people who put out the products and services and helping them align their goals with yours. This is not an HR initiative; it reflects your leadership. Your employees are, after all, your best resource; they are the best brand ambassadors a company can have.

Conclusion – Successful business leaders require considerable hard work, time, and effort. It requires getting involved in nearly all aspects of your business, particularly in the growth and development of your employees. Your employees are your best resource and are key stakeholders in the organisation’s growth. Understanding their personal and professional goals and aligning them in your business development matrix can be key to survival and success. Empowering your employees to take ownership, upskill, think creatively, and embrace challenges can help your business grow at an unprecedented rate and scale. A successful business leader always leans on employees who find joy in their work and remain loyal to their brand.

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