In the working world, it’s common for your business objectives to be focussed on customer satisfaction – a company goal that may sometimes be deemed as more important than the employee experience. However, flipping these objectives and making employees a top priority can drive productivity in your workforce which benefits both customers and stakeholders.
Debbie Lentz, President of Global Supply Chain at RS Components and Electrocomponents plc shares her experience on how she has developed and built up a trust that fuelled employee engagement and increased productivity in her workforce.
Building trust is key
Trust is an essential component in the workplace and, without it, an employee’s ability and willingness to work can be jeopardised. An 8-year Neuroscientific study found that trust reduces social friction, promotes cooperative behaviour among colleagues and managers who are able to create high-trust in their workforce, are more likely to have high-performing teams.
Statistics have revealed an uplift in awareness of the benefits of employee engagement in improving company culture, as a study from Quantum Workplace found that 61.4% of respondents said engagement was an ongoing strategic initiative for them, compared to 52% in 2015. Developing a high performing team isn’t a part-time aspect of a manager’s job, it’s one of the most important business assets you can manage. The practicality of achieving this entails a lot of work and is something that needs continuous development to reach the desired level of performance and productivity.
“An employee-manager relationship is a strong component of the structure of your workforce, and trust often makes or breaks a manager’s ability to encourage productivity in their team. When knowing that your team is competent and that they have the best interests of the business in mind, then as a manager you can spend less time worrying about whether tasks will be completed and more time making a positive change.“
Promoting training and development
Investing in the personal development of your employees reduces time spent on problem-solving and helps individuals learn and build on their skill sets – all of which will benefit the overall business greatly. Businesses that regularly invest in their employees’ development benefit from increased levels of trust and engagement, with statistics showing that high performers are 4 times more productive than average performers.
Speaking on the subject, Debbie continues:
“In order to secure the viability of the workforce of tomorrow, businesses must be building a future of leaders, which in turn will help industries evolve and their business succeed. Without training and development, this is an impossible task. As a leader, there is no better feeling than seeing your staff grow and excel in their careers.”
“By implementing training in and around personal development plans for each individual, you can not only drive progression for your employees but will see the brand image of your company improve. With a focus on personal development becoming a compelling benefit to new talent, you will see sure growth in recruitment also.”
Introducing a culture of honesty and openness
A 2018/2019 Labour Force Survey (LFS) revealed a total number of 602,00 cases of work-related stress, depression and/or anxiety, with additional research showing that 60% of employees report being stressed all or most of the time at work. Whilst we are seeing a real growth in awareness of mental health in the workplace it is imperative that good mental health practices are adopted in order to allow employees to thrive. One way to further drive this awareness, and to keep it at the forefront, is by introducing and encouraging an open culture.
“As an organisation, it is important that you have a mental health strategy in place that fully supports the needs of your staff. Within your team, each employee plays a key role in differentiating your services from its competitors. However, to ensure full support of your employees in the best way possible, you need to understand what programmes would work for both your employees and the business as a whole. Encouraging honesty and openness is a quick-fire way of getting the feedback you need from your staff to make the necessary changes and improvements to truly support your workforce.”
“Having a place within your workplace for employees who might need extra support – such as the Well Being Room we’ve got in place at RS Components – is a way to encourage an open culture and drive change. With that in place, you can create a peaceful time out space, where employees can gather their thoughts and talk to someone within the organisation should they need to.”
Employees who feel valued by their management team are likely to go above and beyond. A high performance culture drives success – and whilst developing a high performing team takes time, it’s an investment that in the long run can enhance a team, an organisation and drive business growth.
Fostering a healthy and fully engaged team within a strong workplace culture is a recipe for success.