Don’t Manage Employees, Help Them Grow

by Jody Ordioni

A new breed of employees is on the rise; known as the “knowledge workers”. They are employees who are not bound in their boring routine, rather go above and beyond their job profile, displaying a moderate to high-level expertise. Since the 80s, such workers have been increasing in the employee pool.

Unfortunately, employers haven’t caught up on this trend. Employees don’t need micro-management, or better yet they don’t want it. There are calculated benefits to developing your employees than managing them:

Unleash their Creativity

Managing and nitpicking tend to make employees irritable and stunts their creative growth. Resentment at the employee end is the last thing any business needs. Provide your employees enough room to experiment with new things, without having them worry about crossing any boundaries. Freedom to explore promotes freedom in thoughts as well. Who knows what innovative idea might be discovered as a result of this freedom? Granting this privilege shows that you trust your employees. Retention also directly increases due to this understanding between employees, employers, and the company.

Development Over Reviews Always

Over the years, a general understanding has been developed, that is performance reviews are despised by each employee. In a survey conducted in 2017, a majority of respondents replied that reviews were an exercise by HR performed for the benefit of the employer. When employees meet with their employers, they don’t want a report card. Rather a casual, one-on-one meeting helps them understand their shortcomings in a more constructive method. Switching from reviews to employee development might seem like painting an old door anew, however, it is a complete shift in the thinking process and dynamics of the organization.

Employees Become Focused on Goals

No matter how you brand it, a company should always provide employees to sit down with their seniors and learn the ropes. This helps them to chart a course that can aid their personal growth. Setting precedence of seniors while mentoring the juniors helps to streamline the thought process of the latter and as a result, drives them to a goal-oriented mindset. It also allows your employees to learn the useful trick of compartmentalization, which is necessary to break major plans into measurable, time-bound tasks.

Allowing Employees to Become a Family

A significant task that each manager has to accomplish is enabling the teams to become self-sufficient. Employees become more confident when they can find a solution to problems on their own or reaching out to other employees and developing familiar relations with immediate co-workers. Leaders that provide room for development to employees will find that dynamics are built amongst them that support each other. They don’t rely on a single figurehead to provide continual guidance. Instead, they develop a natural camaraderie that helps in the personal growth of each.

Employee Retention as Payback for Development

The cost of replacing any employee is a significant blow to any company. Speaking in simply monetary terms, losing an employee who earns $45,000 annually means spending $15,000 surplus, on training the next. The loss of intellectual and creative capital is a whole other ballgame. Retaining employees is, therefore, in high demand.

As established above, an environment that fosters creativity, freedom to express, and growth (both individual and professional) increase the likelihood of an employee staying with the company. According to our study, 94% of employees feel that if employers show interest in worker development, they are more inclined to remain loyal to the company.

The Bottom Line

Various factors come into play when selecting an employee development model that aims at employee retention. No one wants to work a lackadaisical nine to five or feel like their professional growth is at a dead-end. Instead, employees want to feel challenged in their jobs, push their boundaries, learn from mistakes, and get recognized for successful achievements.

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